PBL: Cobras clinch semis spot

May 13, 2009 4:15 am 

Lily O Ramos

Games Thursday (San Juan Gym)

2 p.m. Oracle vs Cobra

4 p.m. Licealiz vs Pharex

MANILA, May 12 (PNA) — The team that was hungrier for a win thumped its adversary to get the last semis seat in the 2009 PBL PG Flex Unity Cup Tuesday evening at the San Juan Gym.

This happened as Rudy Lingganay guided Cobra Energy Drink to the semifinals of the 2009 PBL PG Flex Unity Cup by burying a hurried three-pointer for the Energy Warriors’ pulsating 67-62 win over Magnolia Purewater Wizards.

The Energy Warriors swept the best-of-three series, 2-0, and will now meet top seed Oracle Residences in the best-of-five semifinals that begins Thursday.

Lingganay scored the last of his 10 fourth quarter points despite the outstretched arms of JP Alcaraz and the shot clock winding down, giving the Energy Warriors a 64-58 cushion with 67 seconds left in Game 2 of their quarterfinal series with the Wizards.

His heroic came just when the Wizards trimmed down a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to just three, 61-58, and appeared poise of turning the game around.

“It was the resiliency of our boys that was the key,” admitted Cobra head coach Lawrence Chongson, who just arrived from the United States.

“We also avenged our lost to Magnolia that prevented us from making the finals last conference,” the Energy Warriors reminded his audience.

James Martinez went 3-of-3 from the three-point zone to finish with 11 points and help Cobra reached the semis for the second-straight conference. Lingganay, meanwhile, drained all of his 10 points in the final canto.

“That shot doused off the fire as the clock ticked away. It was a big shot,” Chongson said of the dagger trey.

Martinez and Lingganay combined to give the Energy Warriors a 6-of-9 shooting from downtown in the second half, almost equaling the 11 threes the team made in its 74-67 victory in Game 1.

Neil Raneses was the lone bright spot for the Wizards with 22 points and 14 rebounds as he did all in trying to cut a 12-point deficit with less than nine minutes left in the contest by nailing 12 of the team’s 16 points to trim down the lead to 61-58 with 1:31 left until Lingganay's came through with the crucial trey.

It was a disappointing end for Magnolia, which was coming off a runner-up finish to Harbour Centre during the previous conference.

The Wizards entered the series as the clear favorites after posting an even 4-4 card.

Al Magpayo had 14 points and seven rebounds while Alcaraz added 13 points and eight rebounds in a losing cause for Magnolia.

New acquisitions Marcy Arellano and Ogie Menor were held to a combined four points, with the latter failing to score a single basket in six attempts.

Despite a 56-43 advantage on the boards, 28 coming on the offensive glass, the Wizards shot just 28 percent (24-of-85) from the field.

Martinez broke a 36-all deadlock on a triple with 4:43 left in the third. That began a telling 15-6 spurt, capped by Lingganay's first three-pointer of the game that made it 54-42 with 9:13 remaining in the ballgame.

Licealiz and Pharez meet in the other semifinal pairing.

The scores:

Cobra (67) — Martinez 11, Lingganay 10, Cabahug 8, Espiritu 7, Lee P. 6, Colina 6, Acuna 5, Fampulme 5, Llagas 4, Daroya 2, Fortune 2, Reyes 1, Lee R. 0, Thiele 0.

Magnolia (62) — Raneses 22, Magpayo 14, Alcaraz 13, Torres 6, Arellano 4, Losentes 3, Mirza 0, Amparado 0, Menor 0, Taylor 0, Pascual 0, Hayes 0, Saldua 0.

Quarterscores: 11-13; 26-24; 51-40; 67-62. (PNA) scs/LOR

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