PBA:  TIGERS UNLEASH  FURY  VS  REALTORS

MANILA, APRIL 10, 2006 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Four Coca-Cola stalwarts dished out highly productive performance, and the Tigers survived another gallant stand by Sta. Lucia Realtyís reserve crew, hacking out a 108-104 overtime win in their Palm Sunday duel in the Gran Matador Brandy PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Ali Peek had his biggest output in Coca-Cola jersey with 29 points, John Arigo tied his personal season best 28 points, William Antonio went one point shy of his career-high 24 markers while Rafi Reavis logged the second most number of rebounds by any player in the season with 21.

But despite these huge numbers, the Tigers walked the tightrope before overcoming the tough challenge of the fierce-fighting Sta. Lucia reserves for their sixth win in eight starts in the All-Filipino tourney.

That sent the Tigers back atop the leaderboard and rewarded coach Binky Favis a ticket to the coming All-Star Game in Cagayan de Oro City. Favis will become the second rookie coach to call the shots in the annual mid-season spectacle after Alfrancis Chua in 1999 with Tanduay.

"Itís an honor and Iím overwhelmed with such a task of being with the leagueís best talents in this event," said Favis who will be pitted against San Miguelís Jong Uichico. "Itís a pleasure and Iím looking forward to giving it my best."

For a while, that All-Star coaching job teetered in the balance with Sta. Lucia, though playing minus injured main men Kenneth Duremdes, Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, threatening to upset Coca-Cola.

But John Arigo pumped in a three-pointer off two defenders coming off a timeout with time down to 7.2 seconds as the Tigers forced the extension play at 93-all.

In the nightcap, San Miguel Beer repeated over Barangay Ginebra, 103-94, to keep its hold of the solo lead halfway through the tourney.

The league takes a brief break in observance of the Holy Week. Action resumes on Easter Sunday in the same venue.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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