PBL:  MONTANA  PAWNSHOP, MAGNOLIA  JEWELS  SEEK  SWEEP

MANILA, January 25, 2005 
(STAR) After working hard the last seven years, this could be a breakthrough for Montana Pawnshop.

The Jewels train their sights on a first ever PBL finals appearance as they go for a sweep of the Granny Goose Tortillos in Game Two of their Open Championship best-of-three semifinal duel at the Makati Coliseum today.

Magnolia Ice Cream-FEU likewise hopes to apply the broom on Welcoat Paints on their own semis showdown. They play in the 2 p.m. curtain-raiser.

"The team owners (Armando and Conchita Quibod) are very happy that we have gone this far. They are really excited that we’re this close to making the finals for the first time in seven years we’re in the league. And if we get lucky, there is a big chance we can win it all," said Montana team manager Clarence Aytona.

The previous best finish by Montana in the league was fourth place.

"We know Granny Goose is capable of coming back but we will go all out to win Tuesday (today)," said coach Robert Sison.

"Granny Goose is a team which thrives on defense and rugged play so we have to match their intensity or if possible play tougher," added Sison.

The Jewels moved on the brink of the finals after trouncing the Tortillos, 74-66, Saturday.

Magnolia blasted Welcoat Paints, 61-54, to also close in on the finals, too.

"We’re expecting Welcoat to give it all in Game Two and they’re capable of doing that," said Magnolia mentor Koy Banal. "But I challenge my players to play with a sense of urgency just like what we did in Game One."

Jason Misolas, who played college ball for Letran, is expected to lead the Wizards. – Joey Villar


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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