BACOLOD CITY, April 22, 2004
— President Arroyo will be the guest of honor when the Palarong Pambansa of the Commission on Higher Education at the Panaad Park on Friday at 4 p.m.

Almost 3,000 athletes and coaches from 17 regions will see action in the games which will end on April 28, said Peter Mendoza, secretary-general of the 2004 games.

The games, which focuses on the theme, "Unity through Sports for a Strong Republic, are hosted by the University of St. La Salle.

Seventeen team titles are at stake in the competition which includes 10 sports disciplines.

The events include men and women’s athletics, men and women’s badminton, men’s basketball, men and women’s chess, men’s football, women’s softball, men and women’s swimming, men and women’s taekwondo, men and women’s volleyball and dance sports.

President Arroyo will be introduced by Rep. Monico Puentevella of the lone district of Bacolod City who is the House chairman of the Committee on Youth and Sports.

Cultural groups from Bacolod City and La Carlota City and the St. La Salle Pep Squad will provide the opening-program entertainment bonanza.

Realtors fan hot streak with 3rd win By Joey Villar  The Philippine Star 04/22/2004

Sta. Lucia, which could not seem to win ballgames in the early going of the Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference, now could just not seem to lose.

Leaning on a monster game by Derrick Brown, the Realtors walloped the Purefoods Hotdogs, 99-90, last night to extend their amazing run to three at the Araneta Coliseum.

Brown, who was given up by the Hotdogs in favor of Eddie Elisma, churned out a 38-point effort while hauling down 15 rebounds, dishing off six assists and making three steals in a superb all-around performance that gave the Realtors their fourth win in 11 games.

"He’s just great, he carried us through in this game," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua of Brown, who is the league’s leading scorer with an average of 36 points-per-game.

From the cellar some weeks ago, the Realtors are now above the bottom half of the standings with the team now riding on a 4-4 with Brown at the helm.

In contrast, Purefoods slid with a 3-8 (win-loss) slate.

Elisma, for his part, continued to struggle and finished with just 19 points as he absorbed his fourth defeat against two wins since taking over from Reggie Butler.

In the other game, Art Long found a match in Jameel Watkins but San Miguel got a big help from the locals as it survived a hardfighting Shell side, 88-85, for its 10th win against 11 matches.

It was the Turbochargers’ seventh setback against four triumphs to join the Realtors at No. 6.

Brown also drew big support from the Sta. Lucia locals, led by Dennis Espino, who sizzled with 21 points on a superb nine-of-14 shooting clip.

The Realtors’ skipper also had nine caroms and three assists while Paolo Mendoza torched the Hotdogs with four triples to finish with 16 points on top of nine assists, three rebounds and a steal.

Marlou Aquino, for his part, added 10 points including five straight that shattered a 82-all deadlock with 3.25 minutes remaining before fouling out a play later. He also had eight rebounds and helped Espino and Brown make Elisma work more on defense.

"I give credit to the locals, we’re working as a team now compared to before," Chua said.

The first three quarters was a roller coaster ride for both teams with Sta. Lucia roaring to a hot start in the first quarter (27-18) before Purefoods took over in the next two period that seized the latter a 73-60 upperhand late in the third canto.

It turned out the Hotdogs’ last show of force as Brown spearheaded a simmering offensive to snatch the lead and the momentum before Aquino entered the fray to seal the win.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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