PBA:  CHARGED-UP  HOTDOGS  BATTLE  CHARGERS

MANILA, January 18, 2005 
(STAR) By Nelson Beltran  -  Purefoods virtually turned the Sports Camp at The Fort yesterday into an infirmary with the Hotdogs’ practice schedule serving as session to take in intravenous fluids and nurse their battered bodies for the sudden death against Shell tonight.

The Hotdogs later brought home a bag of dextrose each which they would have to consume in about five hours to replenish spent energy for the do-or-die.

The team have taken drastic measures to help reenergize the Hotdogs as they challenge the Turbochargers curiously in their fifth game in seven days.

Tied with a game apiece in their best-of-three duel, the Hotdogs and the Turbochargers knock each other out today at the Astrodome for the right to meet the Talk n Text Phone Pals in the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup Final Four.

"One-day rest has become a luxury for us. But despite a fifth game in seven days, we don’t want to rest yet. We’ve never been in this situation in the last two years, and we’re enjoying every minute of it right now," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

"We used our time in practice today (yesterday) just to give the boys intravenous fluids para makabalik sila sa kanilang usual self. Actually, we’ve done this twice already. Si Papa Jun (Limpot) nga sabi masakit pa ang kanang kamay niya, sabi ko Okay sa kaliwang kamay naman saksakan,’" Gregorio added.

In the technical aspect of the game, Gregorio thinks they have to minimize their errors and neutralize Shell’s half-court offense if they were to win the series and set a best-of-five semis duel with Talk n Text.

The Hotdogs have been committing numerous turnovers, logging 21 in each of the first two games of the series as against Shell’s 13.

In Game Two, what saved the Hotdogs was a much better field-goal shooting as they ripped the Turbochargers, 90-77, to force the sudden-death. Shell took Game One at 71-69 as Kerby Raymundo muffed two charities in the last 2.3 seconds of play.

At Shell camp, coach Leo Austria did nothing extra special but challenged his players to come out with a big heart tonight.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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