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Purefoods hungry for PBA crown

James Yap, Jimmy Alapag

Former two-time MVP James Yap is confident that Purefoods Star is hungry to repeat as champion in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after they failed to retain the previous Philippine Cup title.

The Tim Cone-mentored Purefoods Star will begin its bid to keep the second conference championship against Globalport on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

“We’re ready, and I think mas naging gutom kami dahil nga natalo kami nung Philippine Cup,” said Yap.

Purefoods was eliminated in the first stage of the quarterfinal round of the Philippine Cup playoffs when the Hotshots lost to the Meralco Bolts. Early in the conference, sophomore forward Ian Sangalang suffered an ACL injury.

It has been three weeks since the Hotshots started preparation for the Commissioner’s Cup. Purefoods also had a pair of tune-up games, including one that ended in a fight.

Cone’s team won against Talk ’N Text while its match with Rain or Shine was stopped by the referees when center Yousef Taha punched four times ROS import Richard Jackson in the first half.

Purefoods was forced to prepare with 6-foot-5 import Marqus Blakely, the team’s reinforcement for the Governors’ Cup, as efforts to bring in either Denzel Bowles or Diamon Simpson did not materialize.