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Whoppers to face Coke or SLR

Having missed the short route to the semifinal round, Burger King made sure not to miss the short cut to the quarterfinals.

Playing with a lot more intensity and energy, the Whoppers whipped the Alaska Milk Aces, 96-90, to book a slot in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

The Whoppers wrote finis on the Aces’ bid, gaining another crack at the semis versus the winner of the Sta. Lucia Realty-Coke knockout setto Friday.

“I’m glad we’ve got past Alaska. We felt they can beat any team twice in a row. But I think they’re tired. They had no power on their legs and we just took advantage of it,” said BK coach Yeng Guiao.

“Up to this time, my team is under-rated but I have to give it to the guys for playing above expectation. I’m optimistic of our chances in the next round either against Sta. Lucia or Coca-Cola,” Guiao added.

Six BK players, excluding league scoring leader Arwind Santos, scored in double figures as they delivered the knockout punch on the Aces right on first try.

Being fourth placer in the classification round, BK enjoyed a twice-to-beat advantage versus Alaska in their wildcard pairing.

Santos struggled with a 1-of-11 field-goal shooting but knocked in two charities clinching the win at 94-90 with 18 ticks left.

“Arwind doesn’t have a good scoring night. Pero ang maganda sa team namin may nagko-cover kapag may isang masama ang laro. They work as a team. Tonight, they got a good team effort,” said Guiao.

The same couldn’t be said of the Aces in this crucial contest.

BK outworked and outperformed Alaska, enjoying a lead as big as 19 before eventually ending the Uytengsu franchise’s 2008-09 season.

For the second straight season, the Aces failed to make it past the wildcard round.

The Whoppers, on the other hand, advanced to the quarterfinals, staying on track for a return stint in the Fiesta Cup finale. They lost to the Barangay Ginebra Kings in last year’s title playoff.

Sta. Lucia and Coca-Cola dispute the right to play BK in a best-of-three quarters showdown Friday.

“We beat Sta. Lucia in our classification round game and it gives us the confidence against them. Coca-Cola is a dangerous opponent because we have a match-up problem with them. Pero okay lang, tinging ko laban din kami sa kanila,” said Guiao. (NC)

The scores:

Burger King 96 – Daniels 20, David 16, Quinahan 13, Aban 11, Arboleda 11, Belga 10, Cruz 4, Santos 4, Billones 3, Yee 2, Rodriguez 2.

Alaska 90 – Devance 23, Ellis 18, Tenorio 12, Cablay 8, Dela Cruz 8, Miller 8, Cariaso 5, Thoss 4, Ferriols 2, Fonacier 2, Hugnatan 0.

Quarterscores: 21-15, 45-35, 75-61, 96-90

Source: http://www.pba.ph/content/view/2650/1/
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