PHILIPPINE contender Rey Pagunsan was taken to hospital last night in a bizarre twist to the 57th Hong Kong Open amateur championship at Clear Water Bay Golf and Country Club. Pagunsan staggered and spluttered his way through the back nine after suffering an untimely bout of suspected bronchitis that threatened to throw Englishman David Fisher's title ambitions off course. Playing in the final flight of the penultimate round with overnight leader Fisher and Taiwan's Lin Chien-bing, 25-year-old Pagunsan appeared to be in serious discomfort. Although he was unable to control his coughing and struck a succession of poor shots, Pagunsan recovered sufficiently to hole numerous crucial putts and complete his round in four-over-par 74 with nines of 36 and 38. Not only did Pagunsan's ailments undermine his own prospects of winning the Wilson-sponsored tournament, but they also had a detrimental effect on his playing partners. Given the trying circumstances, Fisher and Lin both did well to keep their emotions in check and could justifiably claim that the distractions might have cost them a stroke or two. Fisher, who returned a 72 to extend his lead at the top to two from Lin and Gerard Cantada, made uncharacteristic errors to drop shots at the 16th and 17th holes. ''It was very difficult to keep concentration with what was happening,'' said the 22-year-old Englishman. Nevertheless, going into today's final round, Fisher has a 54-hole total of 208 - two ahead of 16-year-old Cantada of the Philippines who fired a day's best 68 and Lin who returned a 73 which included a triple-bogey eight at the ninth. There is then a three-stroke gap back to Pagunsan and China's Zhang Lianwei. Francis Gaston of the Philippines and Singapore's Dino Kwek Beng Kwee, the two immediate past champions, are a further shot behind. Even though Pagunsan received medication last night it was uncertain whether he would be fit to play this morning. ''He is definitely sickly,'' said Gaston, who accompanied his compatriot to hospital. Pagunsan said he had developed the symptoms of a chest cold during last week's rain-hit Putra Cup at Fanling and it has got progressively worse over the past few days. Following a seafood dinner on Friday evening, Fisher himself had felt decidedly queasy over the first few holes yesterday, dropping strokes at the short second and the par-four third. Birdies at the sixth and 14th put him back on track. But, visibly upset by Pagunsan's constant jumping around, he struck a three-wood approach into the ravine at the 16th and then duffed the easiest of pitches at the next hole. Lin was also far from happy with his display and more specifically his adventures at the ninth where he pushed his drive into the trees, took two to hack on to the fairway, another two to reach the green and then three-putted. Not everyone, though, was in a bad mood. Cantada was positively beaming with delight having sunk a monster 50-foot putt for an eagle-three at the sixth en route to his 68. Jason Kwok, Graham Meddings and Tang Shu-wah are all on 223 and will be locked in their own private battle today to finish as the leading Hong Kong player. Despite another poor putting performance, Peter McEvoy returned a 73 and is in joint 17th position on 221. The cut for the leading 45 players and ties came at 235.