PBA  FIESTA:  BURGER KING  WHIPS  PUREFOODS,  FIRMS  UP  BID

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Kerby Raymundo of Burger King draws a foul from Erick Rodriguez of Purefoods as he goes to the basket in a crucial game at the Big Dome. Joey Mendoza MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, MAY 18, 2009 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Burger King put up a solid closing game in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference classification round, keeping its hopes for an outright semifinals entry with a 96-86 victory over Purefoods Tender Juicy last night at the Astrodome.

The Whoppers performed well on both ends of the court, outclassing a James Yap-less Purefoods squad for the crucial win that gave the Lina Group franchise an 8-6 win-loss card at the end of their pre-playoffs stint.

The Giants ended up with an even 7-7 win-loss slate, missing a shot at an outright entry into the semifinals.

Were a bit lucky James Yap missed this game, but I do believe the team did well overall in the classification round, said Burger King coach Yeng Guiao.

Its my first conference with this team and we had a very decent finish. Im really happy with the way were playing and I think were getting better, Guiao added. I hope we can get a playoff crack at the second outright semis seat although its out of our hands right now. Weve done our part and now we have to wait for the results of the remaining games.

One defeat by Barangay Ginebra in its two remaining games will give Rain or Shine and Burger King a possible shot at the second outright semis berth.

The Giants were hoping for the same but they eventually kissed their bid goodbye as they struggled versus the Whoppers playing minus fever-stricken star James Yap.

In the second game, Christopher Williams played practically straight from the plane for San Miguel, scoring 19 points including the winning basket as the Beermen nipped the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 92-90.

Williams subbed for Gabe Norwood who has been temporarily put on the reserve list after having carried the Beermen to an outright semis entry.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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