(STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Magnolia engaged Coca-Cola in a duel of spurts but came up with a big finishing kick to stop the Tigers in their tracks in the 2007-08 PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Lordy Tugade presided over a 19-8 closing attack that carried the Beverage Masters to an 89-78 win over the Tigers and avenged their loss the last time out.

The momentum swung like a pendulum with Magnolia taking the initiative at the start, Coca-Cola seizing control in the second period and the two teams continuing to trade runs in the second half.

After the Tigers drew level at 70-all on an 8-1 binge, the Beverage Masters surged ahead to stay on a nine-to-nothing counterattack making it 79-70 with time down to 3:27.

Bouncing back from a 90-93 loss to Purefoods Friday, Magnolia coach Siot Tanquingcen said one of the factors was their adjustment to play more zone defense against Coca-Cola.

Tanquingcen, however, was still far from satisfied though his team has jacked up its win-loss record to 3-1.

“As you could see we’re struggling. I have to admit it’s hard to let all your 12 players play and expect them to get rhythm,” said Tanquingcen.

“One good example is Jonas Villanueva who’s been playing well in practice but I just can’t use him much in the game,” Tanquingcen added.

Also in the “feeling-each-other-out” phase, the Tigers suffered a second defeat in three starts.

Tugade banged in 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three-pointers that broke Coca-Cola’s back at 85-75 with a little over a minute left to play.

Danny Seigle contributed 12 points and seven rebounds, Rico Villanueva chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks while Danny Ildefonso added 11 points and three rebounds.

Tugade and Ildefonso, who used to be the NU Bulldogs’ one-two punch in the UAAP not too long ago, helped the Beverage Masters post an early double-digit spread at 20-9.

The Sta. Lucia Realtors finally found a way to finish a game after losing their first two games on endgame fold-ups, topping the Talk n Text Phone Pals, 97-87, in the nightcap.

The Tigers, however, worked on a 33-13 assault to race ahead at 42-33.

Marquez has everything to lose in bout vs Juarez By Abac Cordero Monday, October 29, 2007

Manny Pacquiao is adding some pressure on Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao’s adviser, Wakee Salud, yesterday said Marquez should beat Rocky Juarez on Sunday in Arizona or risk losing his chance for a big rematch with the Filipino superstar

“If Marquez loses this one, he’s done. He will be nothing without the title,” said Salud, who met with Pacquiao last Saturday in Gen. Santos City to discuss the boxer’s immediate plans.

“This was among the things we talked about. Marquez brings very little on the pay-per-view table. And if he loses, he’ll have nothing left,” added Salud of the Mexican staking his WBC super-featherweight crown.

Marquez, under Golden Boy Promotions, and Pacquiao, under Top Rank Promotions, figured in a controversial draw in 2004, and calls for a rematch have mounted since then.

But talks of a rematch have yet to take off because, according to Top Rank owner Bob Arum, the 33-year-old Marquez is asking “a very big percentage of the money” to fight Pacquiao.

“If he loses to Juarez, he will get nothing fighting Pacquiao,” said Salud.

In contrast, Salud added, Juarez, under Pacquiao’s former manager Shelly Finkel, will have everything going for him if he beats Marquez at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson.

“Juarez will be a big name if he beats Marquez. And then he gets the chance of fighting Pacquiao, too,” added Salud, who said Pacquiao has yet to seriously consider his next options.

Aside from Marquez and Juarez, lining up for a shot at Pacquiao and a huge paycheck are Edwin Valero, Humberto Soto and Joan Guzman at 130 lbs, and Juan Diaz, David Diaz and Joel Casamayor at 135.

Except for the Diazes, all these boxers are busy with their coming fights.

“Manny is too busy. He has his studies and he’s helping Roel in the barangay elections,” said Salud, referring to Pacquiao’s younger brother seeking the chairmanship in Bgy. Apopong in today’s polls.

“Manny is all-out with his support to his brother. He’s busy campaigning for him. He wants to make sure that his brother wins in the barangay elections,” said the Cebu-based Salud.

“Right now he’s keeping all windows open. He can fight at 130 or 135 pounds, a super-featherweight or a lightweight. His next fight will depend on where he’s happy, where the price is right.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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