The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 5, 2003 · Page C01
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page C01

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Monday, May 5, 2003
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Page C01
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INSIDE Auto Racing 3 Baseball 8 Boxing 10 Golf 5 High Schools 11 MONDAY, MAY 5, 2003 SECTION Wk iPfnlaMpfna ilnquirer WWW.PHILLY.COM NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1: Sixers at Pistons, tomorrow at 8 p.m. Next up: Gritty Detroit DUANE BURLESON Associated Press Detroit's Ben Wallace pulls down an offensive rebound in a regular-season game. Wallace led the league in rebounds, averaging 1 5.4 a game, and also averaged more than three blocked shots. Sixers primed for a diligent Pistons team By Ashley McGeachy Fox INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Fear the 'fro, the sign inside the Pistons' arena said. Fear, indeed. As the 76ers kicked back yesterday, after barely breaking a sweat at a short morning practice, Ben Wallace led his storming Detroit team into the second round of the NBA playoffs with a sweeping 108-93 victory over the Orlando Magic. The Pistons became just the seventh team in NBA history to recover from a three-games-to-one deficit and win a seven-game series. Up next in Detroit tomorrow: The fourth-seeded Sixers. Fear the 'fro. Although no one at the Sixers' practice facility yesterday morning was openly discussing their potential second-round opponent, the Pistons are a formidable one. They may lack a bona fide superstar such as Allen Iverson or See 76ERS on C4 Supporting cast will set series' tone There was a block by Ben Wallace in the opening minutes yesterday that nearly sent Tracy McGrady's shot back to Walt Disney World. There was one miss after another by Orlando's brightest star, proving his mortality. A blue-collar bunch from Detroit, overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit to beat the Magic in Game 7, erased the scowls, quieted the howls, and left Philadelphia to ponder one thought concerning an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Pistons, which begins tomorrow night. Are the 76ers ready? Forget about Allen Iverson. I'm talking about his supporting cast. I'm talking about Eric Snow's jump shot, when Iverson is being double-teamed. I'm talk-See PISTONS on C4 Stephen A. Smith Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals Ottawa leads series, 3-2. Game 6: Senators at Flyers, tonight at 7. TVRadio: CSN; WIP-AM (61 0). Not ready to say goodbye m SO JOHN COSTELLO Inquirer Staff Photographer "Hockey is a team game," says the Flyers' Roman Cechmanek, who stopped this shot in Game 3. The goalie appeared in good spirits yesterday despite heavy media criticism of his play in Game 5. Flyers turning to Leafs finale for inspiration By Ray Parrillo INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Sometime before the puck is dropped to start Game 6 against Ottawa tonight at the First Union Center, Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock will wet his index finger, stick it in the air, and try to determine which way the emotional winds are blowing for his team. If they are moving in the same direction they did the last time the Flyers faced elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 7 against Toronto on April 22 Hitchcock will feel optimistic that his team will live to play another Game 7. "I found it surprising how calm we were on the day of the game, how relaxed we were, and we just went out and played our best game pretty much of the season," Hitchcock said yesterday as he referred to the Flyers' disposition before Game 7 against the Maple Leafs. "I'm hoping we go back to that mental state again," he said. "But as a coach, you don't See FLYERS on C6 Not benching Cechmanek is safest bet Benching Roman Cechmanek in favor of Robert Esche tonight is an interesting idea. That doesn't make it the right one. Coach Ken Hitchcock's decision is very much like the one Jim Fregosi faced in Toronto in 1993. Do you go with Mitch Williams, the closer who got you to Game 6 of the World Series? Or, faced with a potential meltdown, do you make a radical change when the stakes are at their highest? Fregosi did what most veteran managers or coaches would do in such a pressure situation. He stuck with Williams, even if going to the mound and signaling for the lefthander from the bullpen gave him acid reflux. The similarities go further than that. Williams once said that he pitched "like my hair's See SENATORS on C6 Phil Sheridan New McNabb emerging The QB is taking on a leadership role off the field. By Bob Brookover INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Take me to your leader. Had you made that request of the Eagles in recent seasons, you probably would have been escorted immediately to your right after you entered the locker room, then introduced to the defensive backfield duo of Troy Vincent and Brian Dawkins. They were the most accomplished and decorated defensive players, and they were not afraid to act as the spokesmen who provided the pulse of the team. Now, when you enter the players' posh dressing quarters, you may also have to take a trip to your immediate left and get acquainted with the starting quarterback. Perhaps the most significant development during the Eagles' three-day mini-camp at the NovaCare Complex was Donovan McNabb's willingness to speak his mind when he was asked about the mass quantity of free agents who ended up in other places this off-season. Don't think his strong opinions went unnoticed and unappreciated by his teammates. See EAGLES on C3 REBECCA BARGER Inquirer Staff Donovan McNabb, usually one to avoid controversy, recently spoke out about the number of veteran free agents the Eagles lost in the off-season. This time, Cormier bails out the Phils By Todd Zolecki INQUIRER STAFF WRITER SAN DIEGO It has been the Phillies' bullpen special over these last few days out West: The team falls into a bases-loaded jam with no outs late in a close game. A reliever comes into the game and bails the Phillies out. "It's kind of crazy," reliever Rheal Cormier said yesterday at Qualcomm Stadium. "It's not the greatest of situations to come in." There have been better, but Cormier killed a San Diego Padres rally in the seventh inning to preserve a 3-1 victory yesterday. The Phillies (19-13) are 4-3 on this 10-game road trip as they open a three-game series tonight against Arizona. "Where we are in wins and See PHILLIES on C9 Phillies 3 Padres 1 Next: Phillies (Padilla 3-3) at Diamondbacks (Batista 1-2), tonight at 9:35. TVRadio: CSN; WPEN-AM (950). Broad Street Run: Simon Wangai wins the 10-mile race in 45 minutes, 19 seconds. Kate Fonschell is the top woman in 56:41. Coverage: Page Bl.

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