FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
GARY David never backs down from any challenge, especially one directed at the Powerade team which considers him as its leader. 

David showcased this in the week that was, coming up with back-to-back 30-plus games that not only lifted the Tigers over a dreaded foe and into the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup, but also another Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for himself. 

It was the third such honor given for David in the season-opening conference and he became the scribes' hands-down choice after he averaged an astounding 34.5 points in the two-game quarterfinals duel with top seed B-MEG.

The former Lyceum of the Philippines Pirate said he was merely spurred by the gauntlet thrown by some analysts, who said in a television show that No. 8 Powerade has "no chance in hell" of offsetting the Llamados' win-once advantage in the series. 

"Alam kong hindi personal ang comment na iyon, pero parang personal na rin sa akin dahil team ko ang tinukoy," explained David. 

The 33-year-old workhorse hardly needed any such additional spur.

"Nu'ng makapasok kami sa quarters, ipinangako ko talaga sa sarili ko na gagawin ko ang lahat para manalo kami sa B-MEG," said David, who was initially cited for the periods Oct. 24-30 and Nov. 21-27.  

He translated that determination into a 32-point game in a 97-88 win last Wednesday and followed that up with 37 in a 131-123 overtime win in the deciding game last Sunday. He also threw in averages of 4.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals on the side. 

David was also the last local player to come up with back-to-back 30-point games, when he consecutively dropped 36 and 35 against Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer in last season's Commissioner's Cup, when the Tigers wound up ninth and last. In terms of end results, his exploits this time are definitely much better.

Powerade advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 2004 Fiesta Conference, when it was still known as Coca-Cola, and is now bracing for a best-of-seven duel against either Ginebra or Rain or Shine starting Jan. 4. 

Before that series, coach Bo Perasol hopes his shooting guard's latest feats have gone a long way in earning for the player the superstar status he rightfully deserves. 

"People with keen basketball understanding will see how talented he is as a player," said Perasol. 

"His topnotch performance against B-MEG is one of the major reasons why we are in the semifinals." (NC)



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