GIANTS THROW ENTIRE WEIGHT OVER REALTORS
MANILA, FEBRUARY 21, 2008 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Purefoods stars James Yap and Kerby Raymundo shared some loads with their teammates last night and the Giants came in full force to stop the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 118-107, in Game Three of their Smart PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals series at the Araneta Coliseum.
Yap and Raymundo as usual put in big numbers and got the needed support from the other Giants as they scored their first game in the series, denying the Realtors what could have been a huge three-game-to-nil lead.
For one, Peter June Simon played big coming off the bench, pumping in 26 points and fuelling the Giants’ decisive surge late in the third quarter.
“Kerby (Raymundo) rode the bench because of early fouls while James (Yap), by design, got some rest. Simon came through and bailed us out in the third quarter,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.
Yap poured in 12 points in his return in the fourth quarter and the entire Purefoods team battled with great intensity, upending Sta. Lucia in a highly physical battle marred by several flagrant fouls.
“We showed the survival instinct, we played tough, we didn’t back down from a physical battle and we’re back,” said Gregorio.
The youthful Purefoods coach thought the referees made the right calls, calling infractions for pushing, grabbing and holding. Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez refused to comment on the officiating, just saying: “You saw everything.”
Game Three saw a total of 77 fouls called, compared to 60 in Game One and 66 in Game Three.
“Purefoods won the game and I congratulate them. We’ll heal our wounds and try to come back the next game,” said Fernandez. “I don’t want to discuss the officiating, marami nang galit sa akin.”
Gregorio also thought they did a good job on both ends of the court as they were able to limit Sta. Lucia main man Kelly Williams to 10 points – eight below his average in the conference.
“I don’t think he would be limited if only…… Never mind,” said Fernandez.
Williams picked up two early fouls and struggled all night. Still, the Realtors put up a tough fight with Joseph Yeo, Dennis Espino and Denok Miranda carrying much of the fight for the team.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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