Sta. Lucia, Burger King open quarterfinal series

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20090531

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Sta. Lucia, Burger King open quarterfinal series




MANILA, Philippines – After surviving the grueling wildcard phase, Sta. Lucia collides with Burger King and Purefoods clashes with Rain or Shine today at the start of the best-of-three Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference quarterfinal series at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Realtors turned back the Coca-Cola Tigers, 94-88, and the Giants survived the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters, 126-123, in two overtimes Friday to forge a pair of interesting duels with the Whoppers and the Elasto Painters at 4 and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

Burger King edged Alaska Milk, 96-90, and Rain or Shine trounced Barako Bull, 96-88, in the other wildcard phase knockout games Wednesday.

The Realtors would continue to play without reigning league MVP Kelly Williams for the seventh straight game after he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that would sideline the high-leaping Fil-Am forward for at least another three weeks.

Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez said they would need another super human effort from American import Anthony Johnson, who had monster 42 points and conference high 24 rebounds including a personal best 11 offensive boards in the win over the Tigers, to make up for Williams’ absence.

“I guess we would need another super strong effort from AJ (Johnson) and a solid game from our locals if we want to beat Burger King,” said Fernandez.

The Whoppers, who are reportedly bringing in Carlo Sharma from Barako Bull to beef up their frontline, downed the Realtors in the league opener last Feb. 28 when the former were still called the Titans.

“I’m so proud to meet coach Yeng (Guiao) in this round, he’s an excellent coach and he has done wonders to his team,” said Fernandez.

The Giants, for their part, would have no time to rest following a draining win over the stubborn Tropang Texters.

Purefoods mentor Ryan Gregorio’s main concern though is to how to get the best from erratic reinforcement Marquin Chandler, who finished with just 12 points and six caroms after committing useless fouls that led to early foul trouble.

“I guess I have to sit down and talk to him personally,” said Gregorio of Chandler.

Rain or Shine, which split its two elimination round meetings with Purefoods following a 94-102 loss last March 7 and 110-90 rout of the latter last March 21, however, would play without spitfire Fil-Am Guard Sol Mercado because of a pulled hamstrong.

“Sol will be out,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia of his prized rookie recruit.



http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=473004&publicationSubCategoryId=69
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