PBL CHAMPIONSHIP: MIGHTY TITANS KEEP WINNING TRADITION
[PHOTO AT LEFT - Coach Glenn Capacio and the rest of the Oracle Titans celebrate their PBL PG Flex Unity Cup champonship. Joey Mendoza MANILA, Philippines]
MANILA, JUNE 5, 2009 (STAR) Oracle Residences took the best dished out by Pharex then leaned on Mark Barroca’s steady shooting down the stretch to fashion out an 82-69 victory and capture the PBL PG Flex Unity Cup crown at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City yesterday.
Barroca made up for his woeful stint in Game 4 as he fired 21 points, including eight straight from the stripe in the last two minutes as the Titans held off the Bidang Generix’s series of rallies to prevail and keep the Mikee Romero-franchise’s reign in the country’s premier amateur league.
The Titans took charge early and built leads of as many as 16 points. But the Harbour Centre franchise needed to withstand the Bidang Generix’s press in the closing minutes to claim its seventh straight championship.
When informed of the team’s feat, Romero, who is still in the US, said the championship was perhaps one of their toughest because they had to do it with an entirely different cast.
“We had several new players, a new coach but our never-say-die attitude has lived again,” said Romero in a text message to team manager Erick Arejola. “Erick also did a great job in handling the team, he’s one of the heroes of the team.”
“Handling Harbour was a big challenge, the pressure was there from Day One but I like to thank Mr. Romero for believing in me. Also I would like to thank the Far Eastern University community for supporting me and to all players who helped make this dream a reality,” said coach Glenn Capacio.
The 5-foot-9 Barroca, who was held to three points in a 67-73 loss in Game 4, also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals although he had six turnovers.
With Ronnie Matias and JR Gerillia combining in a big 12-1 run, the Bidang Generix threatened at 67-71 with 1:58 remaining before Barroca made two of his eight free throws to keep Pharex at bay.
Francis Allera then missed a three-point attempt and Barroca calmly canned in two more charities to stretch the Titans’ lead to 75-67.
Oracle also shone in defense, especially on Josh Urbiztondo, who the Titans held scoreless after erupting for 19 points the last time out.
Pharex, only the second team to force Harbour Centre to a Game 5, again dominated the boards, 54-40, but the Bidang Generix struggled with their perimeter shooting, making only 24 of 82 tries for 29 percent against 44 percent for the Titans, who went 27 of 61.
Chris Timberlake, who with Barroca clamped down on Urbiztondo, finished with eight points, five assists, three rebounds, two shot blocks and an assist, as he copped the Finals MVP honors. Barroca took the Pivotal Player of the best-of-five title series plum.
Benedict Fernandez and RP Developmental team member JR Cawaling took charge for Oracle in the early going, making three pointers to power the Titans to a 20-8 lead.
But Matias and JR Gerilla came through with big plays in the second quarter as the Bidang Generix moved within four points before Rico Maierhofer stepped up to fire nine of 17 points to help give Oracle a 36-26 margin at the turn.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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