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Giants cement grip on 2nd

Purefoods Tender Juicy sustained its hot romp playing amidst heavy downpour outside the Olivares College gym in Paranaque Thursday night, rolling past Barako Bull to enhance its bid for good placing in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference classification round.

The Giants, with another productive performance from import Marquin Chandler, zapped the Energy Boosters, 96-92, to firm up their hold of second place behind the San Miguel Beermen (8-1) with a seventh win against four losses.

As tropical storm Emong lashed the region, the Giants whipped up their own storm towards the end of the match, going on to hand the Energy Boosters another sorry defeat.

Chandler led the Purefoods attack, preserving his solid game as the Giants made it three in a row since his takeover of Jahmar Thorpe.

The one-time PBA Best Import awardee went 3-of-6 from the three-point area and totaled a game-high 35 points that went with 12 rebounds and four assists.

He had back-to-back treys early in the fourth, touching off a decisive 14-2 run that shoved the Giants to a 13-point lead at 93-80.

James Yap, Kerby Raymundo and Topex Robinson also had key plays, helping the Giants get past the Energy Boosters in the game delayed for about half an hour by drippings from the gym roof during the heavy downpour.

Barako Bull led by as many as 11 points early on and was ahead by two, 67-65, when game officials ordered the halt with 2:33 left in the third period.

The Energy Boosters seemed to lose the momentum on the game-stoppage, falling behind, 70-73, at the end of the quarter and failed to recover.

Daryan Selvy had a near triple-double job with 32 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists but himself cooled down at the resumption of play.

Worse, he committed two crucial errors down the stretch hastening their sixth straight loss and their 10th in 12 games overall.

A win by Alaska Milk over San Miguel Beer Friday will ease Barako Bull out of contention for the top eight. A ninth or 10th place finish in the classification round will require Barako Bull to win two in a row in the first round of the playoffs to get into the next phase.

At 7-4, the Giants, meanwhile, are now in a good position to land in the top two for an outright entry into the semifinals.

Purefoods' last three assignments are Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, Sta. Lucia Thursday and Burger King on May 17. (NC)

The scores:

Purefoods 96 -- Chandler 35, Yap J. 16, Villanueva 12, Canaleta 7, Simon 6, Raymundo 6, Yap R. 6, Adducul 4, Cruz 2, Robinson 2.

Barako 92 -- Selvy 32, Crisano 9, Hrabak 9, Yvanez 8, Chan 8, Sharma 8, Rodriguez 7, Espinas 6, Membrere 3, Arigo 2, Najorda 0.

Quarterscores: 22-19, 42-50, 73-70, 96-92

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