PBA: MENDOZA SHARES PLAYER OF THE WEEK PLUM WITH MILLER

MANILA, OCTOBER 14, 2003 (MALAYA) Paolo Mendoza was not exactly the guy one would count on to lead Sta. Lucia out of a two-game slump. After all, he had just recovered from a groin injury. Still, he surprised a lot of quarters.

On the other hand, Willie Miller pulled off a surprise that shocked Shell in Palawan, lighting up Red Bull in the fourth quarter in a big come-from-behind victory that preserved the Thunder's flawless road record.

As a result, the two emerged as co-winners of the PBA Player of the Week honor from Oct. 7-13.

In his first game out of injury, Mendoza waxed hot and tortured Ginebra from both ends of the floor. He made four triples and issued five assists as the Realtors survived Nate James' hurting toe on the way to a 92-85 victory over the Kings last Oct. 8.

"He really stepped up for us with his shooting," said coach Alfrancis Chua of Mendoza who finished with 22 points aside from pulling off four steals.

Miller was a sight to behold in Palawan even as Shell dominated Red Bull for three periods.

The quicksilver guard was winking at fans, blocking shots and scoring on highlight plays, all the while flashing a big smile.

"Gusto ko lang i-enjoy 'yung laro at bigyan ng kasiyahan ang mga fans na nagpunta dito sa gym para manood," said the former Letran hotshot.

Aside from his flashy play, Miller also provided the substance for Red Bull, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the fourth period as the Thunder rallied to post an 80-78 win over the Turbo Chargers.

Davonn Harp scored the winning basket with less than four seconds remaining, but it was Miller who made it possible as he rallied Red Bull from 14 points down on the way to the team's sixth straight victory.

He also had 11 points and four assists in a 95-86 win over Purefoods last Oct. 8 that enabled him and Mendoza to nose out San Miguel gunner Dondon Hontiveros for the weekly citation.

It was a big break-out week for Mendoza and Miller who were whizzing by almost unnoticed in the current conference. Now that they've hit their stride, opponents will have to be wary of the two who are certified winners.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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