MANILA, June 3, 2004
By Nelson Beltran  -   Alaska Milk smothered Coca-Cola, 90-75, on a massive second-half assault to gain automatic entry into the Gran Matador PBA Fiesta Conference quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Picking up their game as they returned from the halftime huddle, the Aces overcame a 12-point deficit late in the second period as they beat the Tigers in their playoff for the right to join the San Miguel Beermen in an early passage into the quarters. Settling for the No. 3 spot at the end of the preliminary round, the Tigers now face the No. 10 team Purefoods Hotdogs in the wildcard phase of the transition tourney. The Tigers will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage versus the Hotdogs. The post-prelims plays start Saturday in the same venue with Coca-Cola and No. 4 team Talk n Text taking their first of two cracks at the quarters versus Purefoods and FedEx. The Tigers and the Hotdogs collide in the 4:10 p.m. curtain-raiser then the Phone Pals and the Express clash in the 6:30 p.m. mainer.

On Sunday, Red Bull Barako battles Shell and Sta. Lucia Realty fights Barangay Ginebra in a pair of single knockout tiffs. "As I entered the room, I was remembering an article with three predictions on our finish. One was No. 5, the other was sixth and the other one No. 9. Itís a vindication for us that we took second spot," said Alaska coach Tim Cone on the post-game interview. The Aces came out smoking in the third quarter, unleashing bombs after bombs to wipe out an eight-point deficit midway through the period and establish an insurmountable lead by the middle of the fourth canto. Galen Young, Ali Peek, Brandon Cablay, Don Allado and John Arigo keyed the Aces big turnaround from a listless first half that had them trailing by 12 at one point at 34-46. After surging ahead at 65-60 at the end of the third, there was simply no stopping the Aces in the last quarter.

Young banged in 23 points to pace the Aces who also drew double-digit outputs from Cablay with 18, Peek with 16 and Allado with 12. Arigo had eight with six coming in the fourth quarter. The Aces had a high 52-percent shooting as against the Tigersí 37.2-percent clip. The Aces also had more assists, 22-16, and outscored the Tigers, 24-14, on points off turnovers.

Records to prove Asi no Fil-sham (STAR) Lawyers of Asi Taulava stressed yesterday they have sufficient documents to prove the cage star is a legitimate Filipino and urged government agencies to file a case in proper court to end the controversy once and for all. "Thatís been our position right after the Senate report came out. The NBI or any other party can file a case in court and we would welcome that to finally settle this issue," said lawyer Gary de Jesus amid report the NBI is to file falsification charges against Taulava after receiving a document from the United States allegedly proving the cager is a "Fil-sham."

De Jesus said they have provided the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) documents that would refute the information the NBI received from the US Homeland Security. De Jesus said it was certified by the Tongan Registrar of Birth, Death and Marriages and affirmed by the Tongan Supreme Court that there was a "clerical error" on Taulavaís birth certificate which does not reflect the real place of birth of Taulavaís mother.

The documents, presented by De Jesus, stated that it "is a matter of practice here in Tongan in the issuance of birth certificates to state the place of birth of a wife of a Tongan as the same as that of her husband. The same is true in this case. Likewise, Vaotuíu was also the residence of the Taulava family at the time. Hence, the erroneous information of Vautuís as the place of birth of Pauline Hernandez Mateaki Taulava who is the mother of child Pauliase M. Taulava."  De Jesus also said they have gone to Samar and found a certain Lydia Medici, 74, claiming a certain Ana Hernandez was a member of their household. In a video footage, Medici said Ana Hernandez was staying with them when she conceived Pauline Hernandez. -- Nelson Beltran

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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