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Pure Foods wants to stay focused

By MANNY ANGELES

      In Game 1 of the PBA All-Filipino Cup title playoffs, Pure foods Corned Beef showed everybody a new kind of crowd control.

Going into Game 2, Pure foods coach Eric Altamirano wants his boys to do another: 5self-control.

5 ``That should not happen,'' blurted the 30-year-old Altamirano, referring to that incident in the series opener where Cris Bolado lost his cool, the team lost its focus and Gordon's Gin came to within six of a once imposing 22-point lead.

``That we have to correct,'' Altamirano said. ``We must maintain the intensity and the focus that we had in the first game.''

In that game, the predominantly Gordon's crowd was never a factor as the Cowboys jumped the gun on the Boars, 33-14, led largest at 50-28, before coasting along to a 103-90 victory.

Only when the Cowboys lost their bearing somewhat in the third period that the Boars were able to come to within six at 75-81 and the crowd found a way to react.

But Altamirano and his overachieving Cowboys just reminded each other of the task at hand and Pure foods immediately recovered.

``The important thing is that we kept the crowd out of our minds. As long as we can play our game even though the crowd is noisy and rooting for the other team, and we are not bothered by it, we'll always be there,'' Altamirano said.

The Pure foods coach, looking to duplicate the feat of Chot Reyes who won a title in his first try, refuses to get carried away by that impressive Game 1 win.

He wants to take the best of seven series one game at a time, the better, he said ``for his team not to lose its focus.''

Pure foods has never led 2-0 in an All-Filipino finals series.

But the last six times a team took a 2-0 lead in a PBA finals, it went on to win the title.

Odds are expected to tilt Pure foods' way though when the two teams mix it up anew at 6:30 tonight.

The Cowboys have won seven of their last nine games while the Boars have lost their last three, their first three-game losing streak this season.

Pure foods may be known more as a defensive team, but when its offense also clicks, it can also be hard to beat. In games where the Cowboys scored at least 90 points, they were 8-0.

Can the Cowboys continue souring up Gordon's Gin?

The Boars will have to do more than matching up with the Cowboys. They will have to find a way of getting out of that trapping defense employed with much success every now and then by Altamirano and Co.

They will also have to figure out how not to beat themselves, as coach Robert Jaworski has stated.

``I've never seen this team play as horrible,'' he said.

Now it's all up to the Boars to even up this series.





Copyright 1996 © Manila Bulletin by Leo and Art