KINGS FRY HOTDOGS; ALVIN SIZZLES

MANILA, March 1, 2004  (STAR) By Joey Villar - Alvin Patrimonio provided the only glitter in an otherwise gloomy evening for Purefoods last night as the four-time MVP hit the 15,000-point plateau even as the importless Hotdogs hobbled to an 85-100 loss to the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference at the Araneta Coliseum.

Patrimonio’s fourth triple in the night triggered a standing ovation from the crowd as it made him only the third player in league history to reach the 15,000-point mark after Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben.

The former Mapua King Cardinal, 37, achieved the milestone in his 17th season in the league.

"Masayang-masaya ako. This is really a milestone and I thank the coaching staff, the management and my teammates who have been very supportive. I hope this challenges the players of the next generation to work hard, love their bodies and have more passion for the game," said Patrimonio.

The Hotdogs, however, failed to make the night more meaningful for Patrimonio as they just couldn’t put up a fight with Lenny Cooke helpless on the bench with his left ankle in a cast. Purefoods’ import replacement Anthony Bonner of St. Louis is to fly in at the earliest today.

Not even a player aching to show up his former team could rev up Purefoods. Jun Limpot scored 21 points in his first game after being dealt out of Ginebra.

Eric Menk gate-crashed Patrimonio’s supposed party by churning out a huge double-double game with 32 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Kings to a second straight win in the PBA transition tourney.

The 6-foot-6 Fil-Am behemoth also had a double-double game with 20 points and 11 rebounds in their 90-81 whipping of Shell in the tournament opener last week.

Ginebra seized the early lead in the tourney but coach Allan Caidic downplayed the feat, saying: "Swerte lang walang import ang kalaban."

Playing as Ginebra’s import on an interim basis, the 6-2 5/8 Rosell Ellis had another solid job, going an assist short of what could have been a triple-double feat. He tallied 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

"Rosell fits well in the team because of his all-around game but we might have a problem against bigger imports. We might need someone to match up with the likes of Art Long and Randy Holcomb," said Caidic.

The Kings are awaiting Ace Custis, who has yet to complete his playing commitment in Japan.

Asi Taulava came through with an overpowering game as Talk n Text outlasted Shell in the fourth quarter for a 98-88 victory that put it in a tie with Barangay Ginebra at the helm on 2-0 slates.

It was a second straight loss for the Turbochargers, whose top rookie pick Rich Alvarez finally debuted yesterday with 12 points. Games are being telecast by ABC 5 every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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