WEBBER WEAVES MAGIC FOR SHELL; LA SALLE WIN OVER UE NULLIFIED

MANILA, September 20, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran  - No pain, no gain. Sedric Webber endured a sprained right ankle to help Shell rally from a nine-point deficit in the last five minutes of play in hacking out a 91-88 decision over FedEx last night in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference at the Astrodome.

Though suffering the injury in the third quarter, Webber gamely returned to the floor in the payoff period and made clutch plays as the Turbochargers checked a two-game skid and improved their win-loss record to 2-2.

Webber scored on a semi-hook, dished out an assist to Eddie Laure then made two charities all inside the last 57 seconds, punctuating a stirring Shell comeback from nine points down at 73-84.

The Express, who scored only four points in the last five minutes of the game, suffered a third loss in five outings.

In the King of the Court one-on-one feature later on, Red Bull Barakoís Davonn Harp overpowered Barangay Ginebraís Jun Limpot, 17-10, to join Shellís Tony dela Cruz in the next round of play in the 6-foot-4 and above category. Dela Cruz whipped Coca-Colaís Rafi Reavis Sunday.

"Thatís a big-time struggle. We missed a lot of layups and we missed a lot of free throws. Based on those two things, we should have lost the game. But thereís another thing called resiliency," said Shell coach Perry Ronquillo.

"But as (Alaska) coach Tim Cone has said, itís gonna be a tough struggle in our bracket. And in our case, if weíll win a game, thatís because we work hard. Thatís the bottomline," Ronquillo said.

on what he expected to be dogfight in Group B composed of Shell, Coca-Cola, Talk n Text, Ginebra and Red Bull Barako.

It was a sorry loss for the Express who took control most of the way only to sag and collapse at endgame.

A missed slam and a misfired shorts stab by Terrence Shannon hastened FedExís defeat.

Webber made it 91-88 with time down to 22.8 seconds after Shannon muffed the close-range shot then quickly made a foul.

The Express had a chance to send the game into overtime but Renren Ritualo, Wynne Arboleda and John Ferriols missed a three-point attempt each.

Meanwhile, the season-ending tourney visits Malolos, Bulacan today, pitting Sta. Lucia Realty and San Miguel Beer in another weekend out-of-town sortie sponsored by Air Philippines.

La Salleís win over UE nullified The Philippine Star 09/20/2003

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) board has unanimously upheld the protest of University of the East (UE), thus awarding the Red Warriors the victory over the La Salle Green Archers in Thursdayís controversial eliminations-ending menís basketball contest.

The UAAP boardís decision, arrived at in an emergency meeting at the Blue Eagle gym at noon yesterday, was based on the leagueís technical committee recommendation, according to Season 66 president Jose Capistrano Jr.

"It was the unanimous decision of the board based on the recommendation of the technical committee that the protest be upheld ... [and that the shot of Junjun Cabatu be nullified]," said Capistrano.

The ruling thus gave Ateneo the top berth in the Final Four with Far Eastern U and University of the East disputing the No. 2 and the twice-to-beat advantage tomorrow. The Eagles, Tams and the Warriors closed out the double-round elims with identical 11-3 slates with Ateneo clinching the No. 1 berth with a superior quotient. La Salle took the fourth slot and will have to beat Ateneo twice to advance to the finals.

Cabatu converted a three-pointer from the top of the key, giving La Salle a 65-64 win. The referees counted the shot in, but UE viewed it as otherwise and protested the outcome.

Yesterday morning, the UAAP technical committee headed by University of the Philippinesā Francis Carlos Diaz, reviewed the tapes of the Thursday match at the Arenata Coliseum. Besides the video that was seen on television, carrier ABS-CBN through Studio 23 also provided another video taken from a reversed angle.

Both videos showed Cabatuís shot was made after the buzzer had sounded. The video taken from the reversed angle, although it did not display the game clock at the bottom right hand of the screen, showed the red light atop the board signalling the end of the match.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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