PBA: SEIGLE BACK IN FORM, LIFTS SMB TO 93-86 WIN OVER PUREFOODS
MANILA, December 9, 2004 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Danny Seigle is back.
Into his seventh game in his return from injury, Seigle reintroduced himself to the PBA fans as he dished out a sterling performance to lead San Miguel Beer to a 93-86 win over Purefoods last night in the Gran Matador Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena.
Seigle actually struggled at the start but caught fire in the second half, fuelling San Miguel’s third-quarter breakaway then staving off Purefoods’ counter-charge in the fourth period.
With the big lift from the 6-foot-9 Fil-Am forward, who had missed over a season because of various injuries, the Beermen checked a two-game skid, tying the Hotdogs at fourth place with identical 7-7 win-loss cards.
"This is an important win for us. We’re no longer aspiring for the Top Two but this win brought us back into contention for the Top Four," said San Miguel coach Jong Uichico.
The top two teams in this double-round preliminaries gain outright entry into the semifinals while the next two teams clinch a twice-to-beat advantage over their separate rivals in the wild-card playoffs.
Mathematically, San Miguel and Purefoods are still in the running for the Top Two.
The Beermen stayed in contention – thanks largely to Seigle, who erupted for 20 points curiously after going 0-of-9 from the field in the first 28 minutes of play.
"Kapag talagang hindi mo binantayan si Danny S, iiskor yan. At maski bantayan mo, he’ll eventually get his shots. Ang importante he’s not taking forced shots," said Uichico of his prized forward.
Seigle scored eight straight points to cap a searing San Miguel charge in the third quarter that gave the Beermen a 17-point spread at 67-50.
And after the Hotdogs got back into the game, 65-69, behind the efforts of Jun Limpot and Kerby Raymundo, Seigle rose to the occasion again, adding eight points in the fourth quarter to help the Beermen survive a growing threat.
Red Bull Barako kept its flickering hopes alive for the Top Two as it scored a come-from-behind 105-96 win over league-leader Talk n Text in the nightcap.
Seigle himself clinched San Miguel’s win on back-to-back baskets versus Ray Evangelista that pushed the Beermen to 87-79 with time down to 1:12.
Nic Belasco and Danny Ildefonso carried the fight for the Beermen early on as they took a 42-38 at halftime.
Belasco finished with a game-high 28 points with Ildefonso and Olsen Racela adding 10 apiece.
Raymundo paced Purefodos with 20 points with Limpot adding 15 on his return from a one-game layoff due to a score back.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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