PALS, KINGS GO FOR THE KILL
MANILA, NOVEMBER 14, 2003 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Talk n Text and Barangay Ginebra have an old score to settle and they can do this if they complete their domination of Red Bull Barako and Coca-Cola in their respective Samsung PBA Reinforced Conference quarterfinal showdowns at the Astrodome today.
The Phone Pals and the Kings go for the clincher in a twinbill that is likely to draw another big crowd in the venue but may continue to be missed by PBA viewers over IBC- Channel 13.
At presstime, Summit Sports World Inc. had yet to settle its financial obligations with partners NBN-4 and IBC-13. Failure by Summit Sports to meet the demand would prompt NBN-4 to terminate their deal and seek legal action, according to NBN-4 chair Mia Concio.
But fierce basketball court action is expected as the Phone Pals and the Kings look for a followup to their Sunday victories while the Thunder and the Tigers seek to bounce back and stave off elimination.
If Talk n Text and Ginebra make it two in a row, they relive the memories of their classic showdown in the 1999 All-Filipino quarterfinals when the Kings, then seeded eighth, broke the hearts of the topseeded Phone Pals on a deciding basket by Bal David at the buzzer.
It would be remembered that Asi Taulava shed tears even as the Ginebra throng celebrated on the stand as Talk n Text squandered a twice-to-beat advantage.
But Talk n Text coach Joel Banal and Ginebra mentor Allan Caidic said they have a job cut out for them tonight.
"I’m sure the real Red Bull team will come out Friday (today). They’ll come back strong and we have to be ready," said Banal.
"Ginising namin ang dragon. Malamang galit na galit iyan sa next game," said Caidic.
Talk n Text stopped Red Bull Barako’s record 10-game romp in a 120-116 victory while Ginebra posted its very first win in nine games versus Coca-Cola in a 104-96 triumph in the quarterfinal openers.
Jimmy Alapag could be a marked man today for the Thunder after the prized Fil-Am guard sizzled with 28 points and 12 assists Sunday. Some watchers criticized the officiating, alleging Alapag got away with no calls on some moves which looked like offensive fouls and dribbling violations.
For Coca-Cola coach Chot Reyes, his main concern remains how to match the intensity and energy Rosell Ellis is putting on Ginebra’s game.
And the Tigers are aware their former import has been motivated no end against them.
"Masyadong gigil talaga sa Coke kaya before Game One kinausap ko na relax lang para hindi tight ang game niya," said Caidic.
No question, the Kings’ game has improved a lot since Ellis’ entry. The team is now 3-1 with Ellis in tow.
Actually, Tim McClarry held his own against Ellis but the Tigers just couldn’t match the Kings’ spirited performance.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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