PBA:  BEERMEN  COACHES'  TOP  PICK  FOR  CROWN

MANILA,
JANUARY 23, 2007
(STAR) By Nelson Beltran - While experts see an evenly-matched series between Barangay Ginebra and Talk n Text, the same could not be said of the San Miguel-Red Bull duel as they pick the Beermen to prevail when the Final Four of the PBA Philippine Cup is held beginning tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.

The four teams are left to dispute the coveted all-Filipino crown as dethroned champion Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty joined Air21, Alaska Milk, Coca-Cola and Welcoat in the sidelines with stinging setbacks Sunday.

The Beermen, boasting of a formidable roster, and the fired-up Bulls clash at 4:35 p.m. while the crowd favorite Kings collide with the Pals at 7:20 p.m. in a pair of best-of-seven duels kicking off the highly-anticipated Final Four phase of the tournament. The winners dispute the crown in another best-of-seven showdown.

Coaches Ryan Gregorio of Purefoods, Bo Perasol of Air21 and Leo Austria of Welcoat have expressed the same gut feel that San Miguel would eventually win the championship.

"I would pick San Miguel for its depth. Matindi ang materyales nila three-deep," said Perasol.

"San Miguel has a complete lineup and they have a tremendous weapon in Danny Seigle. Hes a big factor since hes a tall natural three (wingman). Walang pang match-up sa kanya ang mga kalaban," said Austria.

"San Miguel has the edge man for man versus Red Bull. Ang problema lang nila Red Bull has surprised us a lot of times," said Gregorio.

Perasol believes it would be San Miguel versus Ginebra in the finals while Austria thinks Talk n Text would beat Ginebra to advance to the finals against San Miguel.

"Talk n Text is a team which can match up with any team. Talk n Text is huge, and Ginebra would have a tough time neutralizing Asi Taulava minus Eric Menk," said Austria.

"Ginebra has other big guys. Pero sila Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Mike Holper hindi naman talaga pang-ilalim. Quickness lang ang panglaban nila," Austria added.

Menk sustained injuries in a recent bar fight and will be out for the rest of the tourney.

"Talk n Text versus Ginebra is a good series. But I think crowd factor would come into play and it would help Ginebra," said Perasol.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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