PBA INVITATIONAL: SOUTH KOREA IS 1st FOREIGN GUEST TEAM VS RED BULL
Manila, July 24, 2003 (MALAYA) Yonsei University, a formidable collegiate squad from South Korea, will be the first foreign guest team showing its wares in the Samsung-PBA Invitational Championship, taking on All-Filipino Cup elimination round topnotcher Red Bull Barako Sunday at the Astrodome.
The Philippine national team, gearing up for its forthcoming campaigns in the ABC men's championship in China and the SEA Games in Vietnam, challenges San Miguel Beer in the other game.
The Yonsei-Red Bull Barako duel could turn out to be a fiery shootout with the Koreans known for their good passing game and deadly outside shooting prowess and the Thunder among the top offensive teams in the league.
Though it's still uncertain when Davonn Harp will be back, coach Yeng Guiao and his Barako brim with confidence they will be highly competitive.
"Kung local teams lang ang paguusapan, we're confident we'll have a good chance against them. Mahirap lang magsalita against the foreign teams dahil hindi natin kilala ang lineups nila," said Guiao.
"Ang alam lang natin dito sa mga foreign teams, particularly the Koreans, they spread the court and shoot well from the outside," Guiao added.
Yonsei University will be bannered by four mainstays of the Korean national junior team that whipped rival China 101-72 in the recently concluded world junior championship in Greece. The youth players are Yang Hee-Jong, Kim Tae-Sul, Kim Jae-Hwan and Lee Kwang-Jae.
The Koreans debut in the three-week PBA Invitationals against Red Bull Barako, who are welcoming the return of ace pointguard Jimwell Torion.
"We've become a lot more competitive on Torion's return," said Guiao.
The spitfirish Cebuano point guard averaged 9.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the season before being suspended for flunking the league's random drug test.
With Harp still in the sidelines, Guiao expects 6-foot-10 Fil-Italian behemoth Mick Pennisi to be a major factor in their drive in the brief mid-season tourney.
"He has adjusted to be our main man in the middle. Noong nawala si Davonn sa All-Filipino, hindi siya nakapag-adjust kaagad. But had we advanced to the semis and played some more games, I'm sure he would have played a lot better," said Guiao.
Just like Red Bull Barako, San Miguel will continue to miss the services of a key player in Danny Seigle who's out with a foot injury. Another big guy, Dorian Pena is also serving suspension for alleged illegal drug use.
Both Red Bull Barako and San Miguel Beer failed to make it past the All-Filipino Cup quarters and are raring to do better in this tournament.
4 p.m. - San Miguel vs RP team
6:30 p.m. - Red Bull Barako vs South Korea
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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