FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 11, 2011

A 22-point lead wasn’t comfortable enough for the B-Meg Llamados as they still had to rely on Peter June Simon and Kerby Raymundo for clutch baskets in the fourth quarter to hold off a late charge by the Meralco Bolts en route to a 95-79 victory Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome. 

 Simon scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and teamed-up with Kerby Raymundo (15 points) to open the period with a 13-5 flurry that kept the Bolts at bay and secured B-Meg’s second successive winand fourth overall in eight games in the PBA Philippine Cup.

“The first half of this conference we spent working and learning the ‘triangle.’ I think this second half, we’re ready to play it. We had the patterns laid down and the knowledge in our pockets. It’s just a manner of this team growing and evolving in the system,” said B-Meg head coach Tim Cone.

Confident that everything his troops need to learn about the ‘triangle offense’ is already in place, Cone acknowledged that it’s time for the team to make a surge. 

“We’re now past the halfway point. It’s time to make our move. We can’t lag behind the leaders too far back,” Cone observed. He said B-Meg will be fine “ if we get somewhere between third and sixth spots” at the close of the elimination round. 

Teams that finish the eliminations in the Top 2 earn a twice to beat advantage in the quarterfinals against the 7th and eighth qualifiers while the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th quarter-finalists figure in a best-of-three series. 

Obviously, the victory against Meralco kept the Llamados where they intend to be at this point of the tournament. “We’ll see where we go from here,” said Cone, pleased with his team’s aggressiveness and defensive effort in the second half. 

James Yap led all scorers with a conference-high 25 points, including 11 in the first quarter to get things going for the Llamados, who avenged their 78-84 loss at the hands of the Bolts last Oct. 15. 

 Marc Pingris grabbed 12 rebounds as B-Meg outrebounded Meralco, 50-43. The Llamados seized control and broke the game apart when Cone put together Joe Devance (9 rebounds), Rico Maierhofer (4 points) and Rafi Reavis (7 points, 8 rebounds) at the start of the second quarter. 

 The frontcourt trio opened the second quarter with a 12-1 run as extended a five-point lead to 37-20. They were also mainly responsible for holding to Meralco to 35 percent shooting (6 of 17) in the period. B-Meg enjoyed the game’s biggest lead at 22 points several times, the last at 53-31 late in the second period. 

 The Llamados held a 61-44 advantage four minutes into the third when Asi Taulava and Mac Cardona picked up their offensive rhythm to lead a furious comeback by the Bolts, who pulled within 63-68 entering the fourth. 

But they couldn't keep it up as Meralco picked up its fourth loss in nine games. Gabby Espinas showed the way for Meralco with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Cardona collected 14 points so did Taulava, who also recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds. (DBC) 

The scores: 

 B-MEG 95 - Yap J. 25, Simon 17, Raymundo 15, Pingris 9, Reavis 7, DvVance 6, Urbiztondo 5, Yap R. 5, Maierhofer 4, Barroca 2, Acuna 0. 

 MERALCO 79 - Espinas 20, Cardona 14, Taulava 14, Mercado 13, Hugnatan 6, Lanete 4, Timberlake 3, Ballesteros 2, Isip 2, Macapagal 1, Borboran 0, Omolon 0. Quarterscores: 25-19, 55-35, 68-63, 95-79


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