PBL:  PORT MASTERS  HANG  TOUGH  IN  STRETCH

MANILA, April 8, 2005 
(STAR) By Joey Villar  -  Harbour Center proved steadier than Granny Goose Kornets down the stretch as it fashioned out a 69-65 victory yesterday for its first win in the 2005 PBL Unity Cup at the Makati Coliseum.

Mark Cardona erupted for 33 points, including nine in the fourth quarter as the Port Masters clinched the victory a week after blowing an otherwise won game against the Jewels.

"I’m happy that the boys learned from our first game," said Harbour Center coach Tonichi Yturri. "I hope this starts something big for us."

With Cardona on the firing end, Harbour seized a 55-40 lead in the third quarter but the former La Salle standout had to be pulled out late in the period after hurting his back.

The Kornets cashed in on Cardona’s absence and outscored their rivals to close within a point, 63-64, 1:25 minutes to go.

But that was the closest that the Cebu-based squad could get as Cardona, who skipped his last year in the UAAP to turn pro this year, came back and scored four of the Port Master’s five points to seal the win for the team.

Earlier, 2004 Open Championship titlist Montaña Pawnshop leaned on Alex Compton’s explosion in the second half as it trounced Bacchus Energy Drink, 74-58, for its second straight victory.

Bouncing back from a sub-par performance in their 81-75 overtime win over Harbour Center last week, Compton sizzled with 16 points this time, including 12 in the final half that keyed the Jewels’ breakaway win.

And Montana did it without forward Al Magpayo, out of the rest of the season after breaking his left arm in a nasty fall last week.

Romar Menor was the lone Bacchus player who finished with a double digit score with 10 points as the Energy Kings reeled to their second straight defeat.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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