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Brothers burst Ol'Aces I's bubble - Apr 15, 2004

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APC Brothers got the better of archrival Toyota Ol'Aces I in what could be a preview of the 2004 BANMI Budweiser Cup championship Wednesday night .

Brothers (13-1) survived the ouster of a key player in the first half and then beat Ol'Aces I (12-1) in its own physical brand of play in the second, to record a 98-93 win in front of over 200 screaming fans at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Down 73-65 at the end of three quarters, veterans Rick Alegre and Tony Diaz ignited Brothers' fastbreak attack that chopped the lead to more manageable proportions at the start of the fourth.

And as if the Brothers' blitzkrieg wasn't enough, Ol'Aces I also had trouble bringing down the ball and fell into a myriad of turnovers, as Brothers tightened things up on defense.

It was an 82-81 ballgame after Diaz made one of two free throws with 4:10 to go in the ballgame. And after yet another misstep by Ol'Aces I, Alegre gave Brothers its first taste of the lead, 83-82, with a gutsy drive.

Shocked by the sudden change of events, Ol'Aces I players telegraphed their passes, hurried their shots and seemed unaware there still was plenty of time left in the ballgame.

Brothers were more than happy to capitalize and when Alegre once again found Diaz inside for another deuce, Brothers were now ahead by 5 points, 90-85, time down to 2:17.

After a free throw by Ol'Aces I swingman Gabriel White made it 90-86, Brothers skyscraper 6'4" Oscar Ada drove the final nail on the coffin, converting on a tough three-point play off Elias Rangamar for a 93-86 advantage with 1:28 to go.

Diaz's brother, do-everything forward Ed Diaz, then gave Brothers its biggest lead of the game, 96-86, moments later when he soared for a one-handed layup and hit the bonus free throw.

The celebrations started as soon as Ed swooshed the charity and it reached its high point at the final buzzer when Tony made a standing summersault.

The festive scene was the complete opposite of what transpired in the first half, when Brothers were down early and lost top scorer Freddie Peliseman on account of two straight technical fouls.

But the ouster of their top gun appeared to motivate Brothers even more and they began the second half the more aggressive and hungrier team. The win avenged Brothers' 93-102 defeat to the same team earlier in the eliminations.

Ed Diaz led all scorers with 30 points. Tony Diaz also added 20 and center Sivas Awes chipped in 18 for Brothers.

Forward Peter Camacho was the highpoint man for Ol'Aces with 29 points. John Santos and Junior Renguul added 22 and 14 points, respectively.

In the curtain raiser, Diablo won an abbreviated match against Sun Devils, 74-59, when officials halted the game.

The ballgame was stopped with two minutes left following a slew of falls due to the slipperiness of the hard court.

Dave Sablan bounced back from a season-low in points to fire 32 to pace Diablos. Eric Weimen-Ouimette was the top scorer for Sun Devils with 21 markers.

First Game

Diablo 74 - Sablan 32, Masga 15, Villanueva 9, S. Rasa 6, Aguon 4, P. Rasa 4, Aaron 4.

Sun Devils 59 - Weiman 21, Lashley 15, Burline 10, Stephens 9, Andrew 4.

Scoring by quarters: 20-10, 39-30, 56-47, 74-59.

Second Game

Brothers 98 - E. Diaz 30, Ton. Diaz 20, Awes 18, Ada 10, Peliseman 9, Alegre 7, Manibusan 2, J. Diaz 2.

Ol'Aces I 93 - P. Camacho 29, Santos 22, Renguuel 14, White 7, Iginoef 6, A. Camacho 5, Mendoza 5, Rangamar 3, Celes 2. Ogumoro 1.

Scoring by quarters: 20-26, 46-50, 65-73, 98-93.  

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