PBA  CUP:  DUREMDES'  RETURN  SPARKS  STA.  LUCIA  REALTORS  ROMP

MANILA,  November 25, 2004 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Kenneth Duremdes reassumed his old role as Sta. Luciaís top gun on his return from sickbay last night, and the Realtors repeated over the Coca-Cola Tigers, scoring a 98-92 win in the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Duremdes came up with a game-high 24 points on top of six assists and two rebounds on his comeback from a three-game layoff due to a strained muscle, helping the Realtors check another skid in the season-opening tourney.

Despite the win, the Realtors, however, remained in the cellar with a 3-8 win-loss card. Sta. Luciaís first two wins came after losing its first six games.

"I hope we can keep it up and sustain the intensity of the team. I hope the boys realize itís nice to win," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

He pointed out that they had lost a number of games due to their undoings.

But the outspoken bench tactician lauded his boys for a job well done last night.

"We played bad against San Miguel the last time. Bumawi kami dahil inisip namin San Miguel ang kalaban namin," said Chua.

Aside from Duremdes, three other Realtors in Espino, Aquino and Gerard Francisco scored in double figures as they recovered from a 74-95 rout at the hands of the Beermen Friday.

The Realtors actually fell behind by 14 points, 23-37, on a pressing defense by the Tigers in the second quarter but regained their bearing before the first half ended, seizing a 53-47 halftime lead and keeping the initiative till the end.

Crucial charities by Espino, who finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists, six steals and two blocks, clinched the repeat win over the Tigers whom they dealt an 86-79 beating in their previous encounter last Nov. 7.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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