LAPU LAPU City, Cebu – Tim Reed of Australia and Swiss Caroline Steffen brought their winning act from Subic to here yesterday, ruling their respective sides in varying fashions to share top honors in the premier division of the second Regent Aguila IRONMAN 70.3 powered by Philam Vitality at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa.
The KaTropa though seemed hell-bent on settling an old score and their motivation was well manifested last time when, upon seeing the Beermen’s offense crumble, readily did their tricks in offense by making shots from the outside to break SMB’s zone defense.
With Paul Lee and naturalized player Andre Blatche providing the points in the second half, the Filipinos rallied past Ivory Coast, 94-83, on Wednesday to sweep their two-game tuneup series, the first of a 10-day European training the forms part of their buildup for the Fiba World Cup set late this month in China.
San Beda is currently tied with College of Saint Benilde in first place at 4-0, while Letran is on a five-game winning streak after a season-opening loss to Lyceum of the Philippines University. The Knights are sitting in third place alongside the Pirates at 5-1.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman William I. Ramirez and Phoenix Petroleum Services, Inc. president and CEO Dennis Uy, signed a P2-million worth of sponsorship in support to Olympic Games silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz's gold medal dream in Tokyo Olympics next year.
The Beermen squandered an early 17-point lead in regulation and were facing the specter of going down 0-2 in the best-of-7 finals duel for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup until breaks came on their way just when the KaTropa were ready to pull it off in the first extension period.
Unlike in their first game against Congo which it outplayed, 102-80, on Wednesday, the Filipinos downed Ivory Coast this time, 94-83, on Thursday night to sweep their two-game tuneup series against African countries at the Palacio Multiusos de Guadalajara in Spain.
With the games nearing its opening on November 30, the Senate hearing was called to provide updates on the construction and testing of sports facilities, the current sports program and legislative agenda and support provided by the Philippine Sports Commission and the hosting management of the games by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee.
But the President is right when he said the Filipinos will need more than luck and prayers to hurdle the 13th-ranked Italians, who are expected to be represented by a team built around NBA veterans Danilo Galinari of the Oklahoma Thunder and Marco Bellineli of the San Antonio Spurs.