KINGS SCORE, MAKE IT 2-2
MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2007 (MALAYA) BY NOLI CORTEZ - MARK Caguioa made one simple adjustment that spelled a big difference for Ginebra last night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Displaying more patience in his shot selection and offensive moves, Caguioa got away with 35 points and led the Kings to a 110-103 win over Talk N Text while reducing their TNT-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel into a best-of-three affair.
"We reviewed the tapes of our last game and they showed na tumitira ako agad," related the 2001 Rookie of the Year who scored 26 points but went just 8-of-34 from the field in Ginebra’s 100-109 Game 3 loss last Sunday.
"Kaya today we ran the whole play and I got more good shots," added Caguioa, who shot 12-of-27 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the stripe.
As a result, Caguioa improved his semis-leading scoring average by almost five points while powered Ginebra to a 2-2 tie in the best-of-seven series.
"Importante talaga ang laro na ito because had we had fallen 1-3 behind, medyo tagilid na," admitted Kings coach Jong Uichico.
"Now, we’re ready to rumble on Friday. We’ll see what happens. If we put in the same effort we put in today on Friday, mas maganda ang tsansa."
Some tenacious board-tending helped Ginebra’s cause as it outrebounded TNT 54-46. Rudy Hatfield typified the Kings’ rebounding ferocity by hauling down 20, 12 off the offensive glass, and Rafi Reavis had 10.
With four other Kings chipping in at least 12 points, the game was close only in the first 38 minutes before Caguioa led a fiery windup that broke the Phone Pals’ backs–and spirit.
Caguioa’s second triple started Ginebra’s break from an 80-79 count and his five-point cluster made it a 98-88 count going into the last 3:18 of play.
Jayjay Helterbrand capped a 14-point, 13-assist night with a jumper that made it a safe 104-94 count, only 1:43 left.
Anthony Washington led TNT with 23 points, but his inconsequential dunk in the last five seconds were his lone two points in the second half.
Harvey Carey added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Asi Taulava 17 and 12 for the Pals, who went into the game on a high following back-to-back wins in the series.
Caguioa made sure there will be no third straight win for TNT.
"Talagang gigil ako. This is the playoffs at gusto kong itaas ang laro," he added. "That’s why I had to calm myself down dahil nakakahawa. Pati ang mga teammates ko nanggigil din."
Arum wants Roach out of Pacquiao team (MALAYA) February 1, 2007
TOP Rank chief Bob Arum is likely to ask Manny Pacquiao to drop Freddie Roach from his team, saying the trainer cannot split his time for two important fights.
Oscar de la Hoya on Tuesday announced Roach, considered one of the best trainers in boxing, will train him for his fight against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather.
Arum was dismayed by De La Hoya’s pronouncement and said he will speak with Pacquiao regarding the matter while hinting a change in the flamboyant Filipino’s corner is imminent.
Pacquiao’s fight against relatively unknown In Jin Chi of Korea is set on April 28 in Macau while the De la Hoya-Mayweather fight is slated on May 5 at the MGM Grand.
Roach on Wednesday said he had spoken with Pacquiao and claimed the super featherweight contender had given him a go. The trainer added his ward has wished him good luck with his De la Hoya stint.
"Bob Arum needs to spend less time trying to get me fired, and more time helping Manny, and getting Manny to the Wild Card," Roach said in an article posted on fightnews.com.
"Bob needs to be working with me, and not against me. Manny Pacquiao is my boy and I am going to take care of him."
Roach also added Pacquiao may train at Wilfredo Gomez’s gym in Puerto Rico for the fight with Chi.
"He cannot train both Manny (Pacquaio) and Oscar," Arum was quoted as saying by the website boxing-confidential.com.
"It’s impossible. Manny fights April 28 in Macau and Oscar on May 5 in Vegas. It’s an unworkable, impossible situation and I will speak to Manny about this right away."
The outspoken promoter blasted Roach for the decision considering the American trainer had earlier said that he will concentrate on training Pacquiao.
"Surprise, surprise, which means no surprise about Oscar and Roach," Arum said.
"But Roach is an idiot and he makes himself look like an idiot because he shot his mouth off in the Philippines about how we would only train Manny. He said clearly that he would not also train Oscar."
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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