Simon shines as Giants get back at Phil Cup tormentors
Monday, 26 May 2008

'08 All-Star Game MVP Simon leads Giants to its 1st back-to-back wins in conference
Purefoods pulled off some measure of revenge versus Philippine Cup finals tormentor Sta. Lucia in their first meeting in the import-laced tourney.
The Giants finished strong in the third quarter and sustained their romp in the final period to rip the Realtors, 82-74, and hit the .500 mark in the 2008 Smart PBA Fiesta Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome Sunday night.
James Yap starred in their third-quarter onslaught then Peter June Simon took over in the fourth, leading the Giants to victory in what had earlier been a defensive battle.
"We're pretty much on the rise because of our newfound weapon – defense," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio moments after they nailed their fifth win in 10 outings.
"We've made progress from a struggling team into a middle team because of defense. We have an import comfortable playing off the ball and the locals are responding tremendously with him," Gregorio added.
Against the Realtors, Gregorio said the key was completely taking away the game of Sta. Lucia import Wesley Wilson.
Simon and Yap combined for 43 points, Reda Rhalimi logged 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, and the whole Purefoods team put up an efficient defense limiting Wilson to 10 points and five rebounds.
Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez just couldn't squeeze out anything from Wilson in the fourth quarter that he gambled on his locals entering the homestretch.
After falling behind by 12, 64-76, the best the Realtors could get was at 72-80.
It was a sorry loss for the Realtors who took the half at 37-35 and seized control midway in the third period with a nine-point lead.
Yap and Rhalimi stopped the Realtors on their tracks, joining forces as Purefoods staged a counter-attack to grab the upperhand at 56-55.
The Realtors regained the lead, 60-59, at the end of the third before Simon took over the game at the start of the final canto.
Simon, the MVP in the recent All-Star game, rattled in six straight points to start the final quarter and there was no stopping the Giants from there.
The Giants shot 42.1 percent from the field while holding the Realtors to a 34.1-percent shooting.
Purefoods also did much better in rebounding with Rhalimi and Jondan Salvador combining for 30 of the team's 61 caroms as against Sta. Lucia's 38. (NC)
The scores:
Purefoods 82 -- Simon 22, Yap 21, Rhalimi 15, Salvador 10, Raymundo 6, Villanueva 4, Yap R. 4, Lanete 0, Yee 0.
Sta. Lucia 74 -- Williams 22, Espino 15, Wilson 10, Reyes 8, Yeo 7, Miranda 4, Omolon 4, Coronel 2, Mendoza 2, Daa 0, Aquino 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14, 35-37, 59-60, 82-74