RP  CAGERS  WIN  OVER  DARWIN,  RETAIN  BRUNEI  CUP  CROWN
 

BANDAR SERI-BEGAWAN, AUGUST 28, 2006 (STAR) Danny Seigle exploded for 25 points as San Miguel-RP Team clobbered Darwin Airport Resort All-Stars of Australia, 96-65, last night to retain the Shell Rimula Brunei Cup crown at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Seigle proved unstoppable as he led the PBA All-Stars to the convincing victory over surprise finalist the Darwin All-Stars. His performance in the tournament also earned him the MVP award.

The rest of the SMB-RP squad also played cohesively as a team and the scores were distributed evenly among the PBA players.

Earlier, the SMB-RP Team took a lot of beating but it was Saudi Arabia which left the coliseum hurting as the Filipinos romped away with a 79-48 rout of the Saudis to advance to the championship round.

The Australians, seeded third in the crossover semifinals, stunned the SK Knights, 90-83, in the other game.

Roughed up nearly all game, Dondon Hontiveros had welts, Dennis Miranda, Olsen Racela and Niño Canaleta sustained bruises while Asi Taulava, Mark Telan, Dorian Peña and Danny Seigle got bumped, hacked and smacked.

But the Filipinos survived the ordeal, using a big scoring run in the early going behind Taulava’s dominating presence in the paint and Renren Ritualo and Seigle sniping to set the tone for the rout.

"The other team wasn’t even concerned about playing basketball. They just want to throw their bodies at us and play it rough," said San Miguel-RP Team coach Chot Reyes after the Filipinos arranged a title showdown with the Darwin All-Stars.

"They got pissed off because they couldn’t score," said Reyes. "There was even a time in the third quarter that we’re getting drawn into that situation."

The Filipinos raced to a 23-9 advantage with Taulava lording it over in the lane, Ritualo and Seigle draining their three-pointers and Peña forming a fierce frontline threat with Taulava.

Telan then came up with eight points in another 16-1 binge while Seigle and Wesley Gonzales also joined in burying the Saudis as the defending champions sat on a 46-28 cushion at the half.

Officiating suddenly tilted in favor of the Saudis at resumption of the contest as the referees slapped a total of nine personal fouls on the Filipinos that sent the KSA All-Stars to the free-throw line majority of the way.

Without a single field goal, the Saudis converted 10 of their 14 free throws in the period and the game started to turn ugly in every possession.

Despite the rugged game put up by their rivals, the Filipinos kept their cool and fended off the Saudis’ irritating full-court press with sleek passing while hitting crucial baskets.

Back-to-back triples by Hontiveros and another trey by Pennisi gave the San Miguel-RP Team its biggest lead, 70-40. The Saudis tried to stage a comeback by clustering seven straight points and getting more physical.

But Pena, Canaleta and Pennisi neutralized them with steady stint from the line.

"It’s one game left. We’ve been here for 10 days and I hope we bring the same energy tomorrow (today)," said Reyes.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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