Red Bull, Coca-Cola face foes in KO games

GAMES WEDNESDAY (Philsports Arena)
5 p.m. -- Talk 'N Text vs Red Bull
7:30 p.m. -- Coca-Cola vs Ginebra

RED Bull Barako will stick to its original game plan while Coca-Cola hopes to summon enough energy against their respective opponents Wednesday in a pair of sudden-death matches in the Samsung-PBA Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Red Bull Barakos crushed the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals, 99-80, and the Coca-Cola Tigers downed the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 85-77, last week to force a decider in their respective best-of-three quarterfinal duels.

The Red Bull-TNT clash is set at 5 p.m. with Coca-Cola facing Ginebra at 7:30.

The winners advance to a best-of-five semifinal showdown beginning Sunday. The other semifinal pairing will pit San Miguel Beer against the winner of the Sta. Lucia-Alaska knockout game this Friday.

"We're a very tired team. I hope we could have the same energy when we beat them (Gin Kings) in Game 2," said Coca-Cola coach Chot Reyes.

Red Bull Barako mentor Yeng Guiao, on the other hand, said he would stick to the strategy that allowed the Barakos to force the do-or-die encounter with the Phone Pals.

"The burden of adjustment goes back to them," said Guiao of the Phone Pals, whose offensive production was reduced by at least 40 points in Game 2.

Both coaches, however, swear that little things, like boxing out on a rebound play and diving for loose balls to gain possession, could make a lot of difference in Game 3.

"It's a matter of which team could do the little things and play harder. We got out-rebounded in Game 1 but we matched them in rebounding in Game 2. It will again be the key in this game," said Reyes.

The Barakos limited the assists of the Phone Pals from 29 in Game 1 to 14 in Game 2. They also prevented the Phone Pals from taking open shots.

"They shot well in Game 1 and we have to give them credit for that. But this time we're not going to give them those kind of shots because I have this feeling that it's going to be a lot closer unlike the past two games," said Guiao.

A key factor for the Gins is the freethrow performance of Rossell Ellis. The Ginebra import flubbed all but two of his 10 free throws, including six straight in the fourth quarter.

"But I guess the difference will depend on how we battle them off the boards. It will dictate the outcome of the series," said Reyes.

For Guiao, the decisive factor would be their defense on Asi Taulava, Damien Cantrell and the Phone Pals' backcourt led by rookie Jimmy Alapag, Bong Ravena and Patrick Fran.

18/11/2003

Bron : Inq7.net

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