PBA FIESTA:  EXPRESS DWARF TALL REALTORS

MANILA, April 1, 2004
 
(STAR)
By Nelson Beltran - FedEx emerged victorious in the battle off the boards in a game for the first time in the Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference last night, cutting down to size the tall Sta. Lucia Realty team for a 97-86 victory at the Araneta Coliseum.

Focusing on gang-rebounding in their last three practice sessions, the Express reaped big dividends as they outrebounded the Realtors, 60-52, and cashed in on this in chalking up their second win against five losses.

The Express, the league’s worst rebounding team with an average of only 42.5 caroms a game before the match, crashed the boards with impunity this time and sent the Realtors crashing to their seventh loss in eight outings.

Actually, FedEx is also worst in the league on defense, giving up more than 102 points in each of its first six games. But the Express also played extra hard on the defensive end versus the Realtors.

"We focused on gang-rebounding in practice. We had that in mind going into this game and, fortunately, it worked," said FedEx coach Boni Garcia.

"Saka si Mike Maddox talagang gustong manalo. He’s been working hard in practice to get in shape. He has shed some pounds but he’s still not yet in his playing weight," added Garcia.

Though claiming he’s overweight, Maddox, weighing 255 pounds, had another solid performance with 34 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 44 minutes of action.

He practically threw his weight around the paint, enabling the Express to lead by as many as 20 points in the second period before sitting on a 51-40 cushion at halftime.

San Miguel Beer remained unbeaten coming closer to the halfway mark of the elimination round, notching win No. 8 with an 89-81 whipping of Alaska Milk in the second game.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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