PBA News
February 17, 1997

Alaska thunders past Mobiline
Big endgame lifts Milkmen to 100-91 victory

Nothing has changed between Alaska Milk and Mobiline. Well, almost nothing.

The 1996 grand slam champion Milkmen needed a huge endgame push before hacking out a 100-91 decision over the revitalized but still raw Cellulars last night at the start of the PBA All-Filipino Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

It took the doubled efforts of Johnny Abarrientos and Rene Hawkins and the maze of errors by Mobiline in the final 3:10 minutes before Alaska escaped with the victory.

And it was truly not easy.

The Cellulars, showing their finest form in a long, long time, had the Milkmen in deep trouble when rookies Lowell Briones and Andy Seigle and veteran recruit Glen Capacio teamed up in a searing rally from 14 points down at the start of the payoff quarter.

With Briones providing the hustle, Seigle the inside threat and Capacio the baskets from downtown, Mobiline turned a 64-78 deficit into an 87-84 advantage. Another new face, Patrick Fran, helped with a short but crucial defense on Abarrientos.

The 1996 MVP, however, slowly changed the situation after Edward Juinio gave the lead back to Alaska with two free throws off Alvin Teng.

Abarrientos snatched the ball from a driving Capacio, transformed a Fran foul into two points the scored on a layup following a Briones fumble for 90-87 still 1:51 minutes remaining.

A bad pass by Fran to Seigle resulted to a basket by Jojo Lastimosa. Mobiline closed in behind Seigle but its hopes of a reversal got quashed by a four-point cluster from Hawkins for a 96-89 Alaska advantage only 34 ticks to go.

"They came out flat in the fourth quarter," said coach Tim Cone of his wards who led by as much as 17 points in the final half. "So I told the boys not to mind losing the lead, get agressive and play to win."

Hawkins finished with a game-high 29 markers while Abarrientos had 28 points on top of seven assists and two steals.

Mobiline, which played without prized acquisition from Alaska the injured Jeffrey Cariaso, almost pulled off the comeback trick on its perennial tormentor, fell short but showed promise of better things to come this season as a result of a massive, pre- season buildup.

"They now have experience with Capacio, (Alvin) Teng and (Al) Solis. And I'm really surprised with Briones, I know he's got talents but I did not expect him to be this good. Seigle, well, he's got real potentials," said Cone of the "new-look" Cellulars.

Capacio tossed in 12 of his 21 markers in the final period _ the same with Briones who played for 37 minutes _ while Seigle, the celebrated Fil-American top pick of this year's draft, finished with 20.

Solis added 10 and eight from Teng who collared 12 boards. Seigle also spiced his 38-minute debut with nine rebounds, two steals, a couple of assists and four blocks.

Mobiline looked good in the early going and for a while appeared to be on the way to a fine halftime stint behind the baskets of Briones, Seigle and Capacio.

Abarrientos then made his move and, together with Rodney Santos and Hawkins, pushed Alaska to a 13-point lead at 45-32.

Capacio and Seigle answered back and cut the deficit to only 38-47.

In the opening ceremonies, the PBA paid tribute to three Filipino athletes for their heroic exploits the past year.

Honored were Atlanta Olympics silver medalist in boxing Mansueto Velasco Jr., World Boxing Council featherweight champion Luisito Espinosa and four-time World Cup bowling titlist Paeng Nepomuceno. -EDGARD A. HILARIO

The scores:
ALASKA 100 - Hawkins 29, Abarrientos 28, Castelo 11,

Lastimosa 10, Santos 6, Lago 6, Ramas 4, Punsalan 4,
Juinio 2.

MOBILINE 91 - Capacio 21, Briones 21, Seigle 20,

Solis 10, Teng 8, Santamaria 5, Pumaren 4, Reyes 2,
Del Rosario 0, Villamin 0, Fran 0.

Quarters: 25-19, 47-38, 78-64, 100-91

February 16,1997
PBA 23rd season opens with grand slam coaches.

February 15,1997
Coach sees new role for Alvin

Alaska's winning lineup broken, but not its spirit.

Feihl wins MVP.

February 14,1997
Guiao on Feihl case: PBL not under PBA.

February 13,1997
DOLE okays Jacobs permit

February 12,1997
EJ Feihl joins PBL.

Puyat wants GAB to force PBA to play for RP team.

February 10,1997
Seigle helps Mobiline score 103-98 win over Gordon's Gin.

February 08,1997
PBL firms up role as stepping stone to PBA.

Jacobs seeks DOLE permission to coach.

Source: Manila Bulletin Online

Copyright 1997 NGETSKA

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