PBA FIESTA CUP:  RED  BULL  FAILED  FINALS,  SETTLES  FOR  THIRD  PLACE

MANILA, JULY 7, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - After failing to land in the finals, Red Bull did the next best thing in the PBA Fiesta Cup: clinch third place.

“Third place is not a bad finish specially with what we went through this season,” said coach Yeng Guiao after his team scored a 103-96 win over San Miguel Beer at the Araneta Coliseum.

“We’re very proud of this finish. Our deal is that we will use this as our starting block in preparation for the next conference,” added Guiao, who also happens to be the vice governor of Pampanga.

It was clear at the start of the one-game battle for third place that the Bulls were more determined. They were in full control of the game, and led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter.

“It’s always good to close out a season with a win and with a trophy. We wanted to end our season in the right manner. And we haven’t won a third-place trophy in our franchise history,” said Guiao.

Later on, however, he was told that it wasn’t the first time they landed third, the first coming in the 2002 All-Filipino. But since then, they’ve failed four times in a battle for third.

Guiao, who watched some good players like Lordy Tugade and Rico Villanueva leave the team this season, was just mistaken.

Cyrus Baguio carried the load after import James Penny fouled out in the fourth quarter, and ran away as the best player of the game with 18 points and four assists.

Meanwhile, the Fiesta Cup is just about to end, and the PBA board, this early, has drawn up its grand plans for the next conference – the Philippine Cup.

Commissioner Noli Eala yesterday said the opening of the more prestigious all-Filipino conference will take place on Sept. 23.

And for the first time in league history, all 10 teams will see action on opening day now being dubbed Super Sunday.

Eala said the plan was approved during the board meeting last Wednesday. It calls for three venues – Manila, Cebu and Gen. Santos City.

There will be four teams each competing in Manila and Cebu for a doubleheader, and two teams flying to Gen. Santos City for a one-game schedule.

“For the first time in PBA history, all participating teams will play on opening day. There will be three opening games to be held simultaneously in three venues,” said Eala.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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