PBA: GIANTS IMPOSE MIGHT ON RAGING BULLS
MANILA, February 13, 2006 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - The sleeping Giants woke up.
Meeting Red Bull on a pressing and running battle head on, Purefoods bounced back to life in the San Mig Coffee PBA Fiesta Cup title playoff with a 103-97 win last night at the Astrodome. "We didnít play our game in the first two games of the series. Parang akong hinete na nagrenda sa kabayo ko. I just let my players play their game again," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.
"Weíre bothered by their press in Games One and Two. The players told me if they can give it to us, letís give it to them also," Gregorio added.
Checking their two-game slide by giving the Bulls a douse of their own medicine, the Giants are back in business with a chance to tie the series at two games apiece in Game Four Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
"That game is going to be rugged and going to be physical but weíre not going to back down. We will be ready," said Gregorio.
Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao said: "Iím not really that disappointed with the result although this game has given us something to think about for the next game."
Kerby Raymundo came off the rut and dished out a near triple-double game with 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Giants to the important victory.
Marquin Chandler actually had a huge double-double game with 26 points and 11 rebounds but left the game early on fouls with a good 3:49 left in the clock.
Marc Pingris even fouled out earlier.
But the Giants had built so much buffer by then, and Raymundo joined hands with James Yap in putting the finishing touches on their victory.
"Itís nice to have players with pride. Theyíve been talking about a sweep and about my locals not stepping up in this series. Itís nice to finish the game with our import sitting on the bench on fouls and my locals going for the kill," said Gregorio.
With their defensive adjustment working out this time, the Giants took control most of the way, enjoying a 54-44 halftime lead and preserving it to the finish.
For the first time in the series, the Purefoods reserves also outplayed their Red Bull counterparts.
Noy Castillo came off the bench to fire 13, with Pingris, Paul Artadi and Richard Yee adding 14 points together. The Red Bull bench produced only 21.
PBA NOTES: While Derrick Pumaren has been officially named the new coach of Talk n Text, still up in the air is the fate of the TnT players. "I still have to sit down with the management and talk about plans for the team," said Pumaren. Taking over from Joel Banal, Pumaren, however, has bared his plan to retain Bong Ramos as assistant coach. Pumaren said he also intends to suggest to the management that they add Tonichi Yturri and Jun Tiongco in their coaching staff.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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