PBA:  GIANTS  CONQUER  FEAR,  HALT  BEERMEN

MANILA, MAY 7, 2006 (STAR) Purefoods shackled San Miguel Beer with a tough defensive stand down the stretch and finally snapped the Beermen’s amazing run, pulling off an 82-75 victory in the Gran Matador Brandy-PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center last night.

James Yap scored all but one of Purefoods’ last five points and finished with 19 points while the Giants held the Beermen scoreless in the last 3:14 to pound out the win, their first at Ynares this season.

Marc Pingris recovered from a bad fall in the second quarter and went on to churn out a career-tying 17 rebounds to help power last conference’s losing finalist to the victory that snapped San Miguel’s seven-game win streak.

"This was really rewarding," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio after steering the Giants to their fourth straight and seventh in their last eight games for a share of the lead with their victim with a 9-3 (win-loss) card.

"I just told the boys that we have to conquer our fears. The boys are always finding ways to win," he added.

The Giants dropped all their five games at the Antipolo arena this season, and they came into the game still reeling from a 93-77 rout from the Beermen last April 7.

But this time, the Giants came out an organized lot and held their poise as the Beermen threatened at 75-77 with 3:15 to go on two free throws from Danny Seigle.

That proved the Beermen’s final score as Yap quickly retaliated with a jumper atop the key and Rey Evangelista added a split from the line as Purefoods went up 80-75 with 2:26 left.

San Miguel actually had lots of chances to come closer, but Seigle flubbed three attempts, including a lay-up, within the last two minutes.

Roger Yap, the key player in South’s win over the North in the All-Stars, added 13 points for the Giants. Jun Limpot and Kerby Raymundo each contributed 10.

Seigle topscored for San Miguel with 21 and Dorian Pena had 19, but Danny Ildefonso, Dondon Hontiveros and Olsen Racela all failed to hit the double-digit mark.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia guns for its first back-to-back win in the tournament when it tackles defending champion Ginebra in an out-of-town game today in Davao City.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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