MANILA, March 30, 2006 (STAR) y Joey Villar - Montaña proved steadier down the stretch to down Granny Goose, 66-58, yesterday and seize the solo lead in the 2006 PBL Unity Cup at the San Andres Gym.

Alex Compton and Eric dela Cuesta each fired 15 points while Ken Bono added 13 but it was Al Magpayo’s clutch shooting that carried the Jewels past the Snack Masters for their second straight victory.

Magpayo scored five of his 11 points in the final quarter, including a crucial triple in the stretch that secured the win for the Jewels while dealing the Snack Masters their first loss in two starts.

Magpayo, an ex-pro, was 0-of-6 before sinking that crucial trey.

"The reason why we’re here is to win, nothing personal," said Montana interim coach Nel Parado, alluding to the grudge match with Granny Goose coach Robert Sison.

Earlier, Heroes Cup champion Magnolia Ice Cream drew big games from Kelly Williams and Arwind Santos as it waylaid Teletech, 57-46, to even its record to 1-1.

Williams, the finals MVP last conference, dished out a double-double job with 22 points and 18 rebounds while Santos had nine points, 11 rebounds and three shot blocks that erased the stigma of the Spinners’ sorry 55-64 loss to the Snack Masters.

"All the guys came out with their A-game. Our earlier loss was really a wake-up call for us," said Magnolia coach Koy Banal.

Former pro Nino Gelig fired 16 points but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Jerry Codiñera-mentored Titans from absorbing their second straight setback.

Down, 46-47, early in the last canto, the Jewels held the Snack Masters scoreless while scoring six points of their own to take a 52-47 advantage.

PBA:  Beermen take on Realtors The Philippine Star 03/29/2006

Stunning Red Bull on a stirring endgame chase on the road Saturday, San Miguel Beer is coming out oozing with confidence as it takes on Sta. Lucia Realty in the Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome today.

The Bulls, meanwhile, are determined to redeem themselves from that sorry loss to the Beermen as they play the Air21 Express in the day’s other game in the Pasay hoophouse.

Red Bull and Air21 lock horns at 4:40 p.m. then San Miguel and Sta. Lucia slug it out at 7:35 p.m.

"We expect a good matchup with Sta.Lucia. We hope our win against Red Bull serves us in good stead versus Sta. Lucia," said San Miguel coach Jong Uichico.

Danny Ildefonso dished out an inspired game playing before his townmates in Urdaneta, Pangasinan Saturday, scattering 21 points, including five crucial points down the stretch, as the Beermen held off the Bulls, 95-90.

While the Beermen are in high spirits because of that win, the Realtors are trying to put behind them the memory of their sad defeat at the hands of the Bulls last Wednesday. The Realtors are languishing in the cellar with a 1-3 win-loss card.

Air21 is another squad coming out riding the momentum of a morale-boosting victory the last time out. The Express overcame the Barangay Ginebra Kings Friday.

"That’s a good preparation for our game against Red Bull which is just like Ginebra," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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