PBA  CUP:  LORDY TUGADE  AND  TOPEX  ROBINSON  TO  RED  BULL BARAKOS  RESCUE

MANILA,  November 11, 2004 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Lordy Tugade and Topex Robinson rose to the occasion when the game hanged in the balance last night as Red Bull Barako got back at Shell, 94-90, in the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Practically working overtime with Jimwell Torion and Junthy Valenzuela struggling on the court, Tugade and Robinson responded to the challenge, outdoing themselves to lead the Thunder to their third win in eight starts.

The Thunder got even with the Turbochargers who dealt them a sorry 86-93 defeat in their first encounter last Oct. 12 in Cagayan de Oro.

Red Bull blew away an early 17-point lead then. This time, the Thunder figured in a neck-and-neck duel and beat the Turbochargers down the wire on the gutsy plays of Tugade and Robinson.

The Turbochargers suffered a second straight loss and their third in eight games in all.

"The good thing was that we had enough backups who stepped up for Valenzuela and Torion," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao.

Tugade led all scorers with 20 points, including six crucial charities at endgame, while Robinson added 15 points, five rebounds, four assists plus two important loose ball recoveries in the closing seconds.

Two other Red Bull backup guards in Cyrus Baguio and Denver Lopez also played extended minutes. They had their own contributions, combining for 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Guiao later said playing heavily with his backcourt rotation was part of the team’s transition from the squad build around Davonn Harp and Mick Pennisi.

"Our big men now are our last-minute recruits and additions that’s why we’re changing our plays and patterns. Dati kasi 90 percent ng plays namin designed for our big men," said Guiao.

"We’re trying to make do with the manpower and talent that we have right now," Guiao added.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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