Coca-Cola Waylays Purefoods

Manila Bulletin, November 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

Coca-Cola Waylays Purefoods


Sophomore guard Ronjay Buenafe made a grand return, scoring 18 points as Coca-Cola snapped a three-game slide with a 93-72 drubbing of Purefoods in the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-1 Buenafe, who was in the injured list in the Tigers' previous three setbacks due to a sprained right ankle, had 14 points in the fourth quarter when he led the Tigers' crucial run that stretched a slim 61-55 lead to an 86-64 bubble with 5:04 remaining.

Buenafe, who averaged 10 points entering the game, shot 5-of-10 from the field, including back-to-back triples while adding two rebounds, two steals and one assist in only 20 minutes of action.

The win enabled the Tigers to improve their record to 4-7, and 3-4 under interim coach Kenneth Duremdes, while completing a sweep off Purefoods after scoring a double overtime 103-102 win in their first meeting last Oct. 15.

The Tigers' win came before Air21 raced to a third straight victory while handing Red Bull its fifth consecutive defeat, 92-89.

The Express improved their record to six wins against five losses for a share of fourth spot with idle Rain or Shine.

The Bulls went deeper in the cellar with their 3-8 card.

"Na-miss namin si Ronjay, malaking factor s'ya sa amin," Duremdes said of Buenafe, whose wife delivered their first child, Francesca Cassandra, recently.

"As well as John Arigo (who missed two games because of a sprained left ankle). 'Yun ang naging butas sa amin, walang maka-breakdown sa offense. Silang dalawa 'yung madalas mag-initiate. So malaking bagay 'yung pagbalik nila," Duremdes added.

Duremdes also commended his wards for working hard on the defensive end as they held the Giants to just 28-of-75 or 37. …

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