MANILA, OCTOBER 16, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran  - Rosell Ellis may not be as flashy as the other imports but he seems to be the perfect fit for Barangay Ginebra.

Ellis put up an inspiring game to lead the Kings to a crucial 95-90 win over the Talk n Text Phone Pals in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena last night.

Ellis, a former Coca-Cola import, piled up 25 points and 15 rebounds in an impressive debut with Ginebra.

And taking the cue from their new reinforcement, the Kings came out of the rut, improving their win-loss record to 5-5 on their first victory in their last four games.

Talk n Text missed an outright slot in the quarterfinals as it suffered its fourth defeat against six wins ironically on the return of its head coach Joel Banal.

Meanwhile, Kerby Raymundo advanced to the semifinal round of the Ginebra-Purefoods King of the Court one-on-one tournament as he beat Yancy de Ocampo, 15-8, in their quarterfinal duel in the 6-foot-4 and above category.

"Yung puso at pride ng team nabuhay dahil nakita nila si Ellis nagpapakamatay," said coach

Allan Caidic, who later dedicated their win to his wife Milotte who turned a year older yesterday.

"He’s (Ellis) very smart at nakita natin na kundisyon siya dahil almost 48 minutes siya naglaro at hindi napagod. More importantly, he filled in the void left by Eric Menk. Yun ang hindi naibigay ni Ricky Price," Caidic added.

True enough, Ellis picked up the slack on Menk’s absence, providing inside presence which the Kings missed during their slump.

Curiously, Ellis, who led the Tigers to a third place finish in last year’s Governors Cup, improved to 4-0 his personal record versus the Phone Pals.

The Kings actually played catch-up most of the first half before turning it around in the third on a decisive run sparked by Ellis, Mark Caguioa and Bal David.

The Phone Pals forced a 68-all deadlock at the end of the quarter and the Kings had to hang tough in a close windup to clinch the win.

Caguioa finished with 20 points and David added 15 points. Double-teaming defense by the Kings limited Asi Taulava to only seven.

Coca-Cola pushed Shell to the brink of elimination as the Tigers trounced the Turbochargers, 100-89, in the second game.

Knights edge Falcons; Warriors defuse Heavy Bombers The Philippine Star 10/16/2003

NCAA titlist Letran was pushed to the limit by UAAP fifth placer Adamson and had to bank on a three-pointer by ace guard Ronjay Enrile in the closing seconds to hack a 74-73 squeaker in the opening game of the UAAP-NCAA Bantay Bata 163 Showdown II at the Blue Eagle gym yesterday.

Outrebounded and outplayed by the taller and heftier Falcons, the Knights resorted to pressing defense to wipe out several double-digit deficits and eventually win the game on Enrile’s decisive trey with time down to three seconds.

With Kenneth Bono’s desperation heave from midcourt overhitting the rim at the buzzer, the Knights sealed the nail-biting win that sent them to the crossover knockout semifinals of the four-day charity tournament.

They play the winner of today’s La Salle-San Sebastian duel in the semis Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

While the Knights had to lean on Enrile’s endgame heroics, the UE Warriors needed just one quarter to outplay the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers en route to posting an 84-56 rout in the other contest.

"We played Adamson’s deliberate game in the first half kaya nahirapan kami. Sa second half, we needed to play pressing defense throughout to steal the game," said Letran coach Louie Alas, who incidentally was a former Falcon.

"I’m not surprised that we had a hard time against Adamson. In four tune-up games before the NCAA and UAAP seasons, we beat them only once," added Alas.

The Falcons dominated the Knights nearly the entire run of the contest, leading by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.

Coach Luigi Trillo and his boys were still very much in control at 61-48 when the Knights started to employ the press that suddenly turned things around, pushing Letran ahead at 65-64.

But the Falcons regrouped and regained control at 72-67 on clutch hits by Patrick Cabahug and Ramil Tagupa. — Nelson Beltran

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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