HOTDOGS OUT TO FINISH WHAT KINGS STARTED

MANILA, NOVEMBER 7, 2003 (MALAYA) Lenny Cooke got himself an early Christmas present from Barangay Ginebra import Rossel Ellis. It's now up to the former US high school phenom to do his part.

Ellis told Cooke to watch the Kings play Alaska Wednesday night and the Purefoods import obliged-on one condition.

"I told him to win one for me," Cooke said. "Rossel Ellis kept his word and now it's up to me to get the job done."

Ellis had 18 points and was his usual indefatigable self as Ginebra handily beat Alaska 96-73 last Wednesday, prolonging sister-team Purefoods' campaign for at least one more game in the Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference.

The loss relegated the Aces to a 4-9 record at the end of the eliminations and a playoff date tonight at the Astrodome with the Hotdogs, who wound up with the same slate, for the last Group A quarterfinals ticket.

"Alaska is going to forget about the loss, work hard in practice and come out hard at us. We have to be prepared. We have to work as hard, if not more, and we have to play as a team to get the win," said Cooke.

The winner gets the No. 4 seeding and tackles Group A top seed Sta. Lucia Realty in the quarterfinals.

In Group A, San Miguel (No. 2) takes on FedEx (No. 3) in the best-of-three series. In Group B, it will be No. 1 Red Bull against No. 4 Talk N Text and No. 2 Coca-Cola against No. 3 Ginebra.

Ali Peek had fluid removed from his left knee and is still recuperating so Alaska, which has lost four in a row, would be banking most on import Ike Fontaine.

Purefoods won three of its final four assignments to make the knockout match possible.

"Whatever happens, I think this team has already accomplished a lot in winning three of its last four games, considering the struggle we have been through this year," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Sta. Lucia, meanwhile, has taken in former Red Bull import Ray Tutt to replace the injured Damien Owens.

The 6-foot-4 Tutt saw action for a total of 30 games for the Thunder in the 2000 and 2001 Governors Cups. He averaged 33.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. (Noli Cortez)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2003  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE