FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
DESPITE what he deemed as an affront to his team Gary David seemed intent on just coasting along Sunday evening. 

Then came an incident that banished a teammate and fired him up for good. 

The result was David exploding for 37 points, lifting Powerade past B-MEG for the second straight game 131-123 in overtime to crash the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.  

David scattered 23 of his points in the fourth period and overtime to lead the Tigers' charge from being No. 8 at the end of eliminations and past the top-seeded Lllamados to arrange a best-of-seven semis duel with either Barangay Ginebra or Rain or Shine.

It marked only the third time in the league's 37-year-old history that such an upset occured in the quarterfinals and coach Bo Perasol said it was about keeping the faith despite his team being down by as much as 17 points early and by 12 in the fourth period. 

"I was really praying hard," related Perasol, whose team joined the ranks of Ginebra, against Mobiline in the 1999 All-Filipino, and San Miguel Beer, against Talk 'N Text in the 2002 Governors Cup, as the biggest axe-wielders. 

"In the middle of the game I was having doubts, but I kept on praying and our faith was strong enough to believe we can win this." 

Jayvee Casio scored 22 points and also had 10 assists while Mario Lassiter added 19 points, including an insurance triple in overtime. 

But it was David who was singled out by Perasol as foremost among those who made the upset happen. 

"Up to now I know I can count on him," said Perasol of the foul-saddled David, who followed up his 32-point game in a 97-88 win last Wednesday that negated B-MEG's twice-to-win advantage. "After he committed his fifth foul (7:05 left in regulation), I asked him if he can still maintain it and he did. He was the one who salvaged game for us. 

The biggest contribution came from him," said Perasol. It hardly seemed likely in the early goings. David made just five of 13 shots in the first three quarters but wound up going 12-for-21 from the field, including a triple that tied it up at 115 in the last 11 seconds of regulation and ultimately forced overtime. 

 All after being fired up, he claimed, by a third quarter scrap between teammate Celino Cruz and B-MEG's Josh Urbiztondo.

"Nu'ng nagkaroon ng away du'n ako ginanahan," he related. "Parang it's time to take the challenge para sa team, na dapat ako mag-take charge." 

The scrum went with what David watched at Youtube, where one commentator remarked Powerade has "no chance in hell" of beating B-MEG. 

"Alam kong walang personalan pero parang personal challenge na rin sa akin iyon," the man dubbed as "Mr. Pure Energy" remarked.

David went on to score the extension's first 10 points before Lassiter's triple quashed B-MEG's uprising that brought it within 123-125.

Before PJ Simon and Kerby Raymundo brought the Llamados back, they missed four of their first five shots and committed three turnovers. 

Raymundo rebounded from a 10-point outing last Wednesday to finish with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Simon and James Yap had at least 23. But the Llamados could not sustain their drive that seemingly faded while Powerade's gathered momentum. 

The Tigers's surge reached its zenith when they made eight triples in the fourth and three in the extension that gave them a total 22 and tied them for first with Rain or Shine at all-time most for 22 feet. Emotions got the better of Cruz during a third quarter incident with Josh Urbiztondo, leading to the Powerade guard's ejection with still 7:12 to go in the period. 

After being told something by Urbiztondo, Cruz tried to rush the former despite being restrained by game officials and other players and was banished for adopting a fighting stance. 

Ironically, Cruz was inserted into the game just 14 seconds earlier after Casio sprained his right ankle upon landing on the B-MEG guard's foot. 

Casio returned and was also visibly stoked, helping them move within 78-87 going into the final period. B-MEG failed to score in the last two minutes of the second quarter but still went into the half with a 57-47 lead, no little thanks to a fine defensive stance over a two-minute stretch complemented by timely scoring from Raymundo and Simon. 

Simon already had 15 points at the half and Raymundo 10, his same output last Wednesday, and the two led a massive 14-0 surge from a 41-38 count. 

During the same span, the Llamados stymied the Tigers to a 0-for-4 field shooting and into committing three turnovers. 

It didn't help Powerade's cause any that David was held down to only nine points on 3-for-6 shooting in the first half and to just two charities in the second canto. 

B-MEG started taking control after posting a 30-23 lead, mainly through the seven points each of Yap and Simon. 

After committing two offensive fouls on Sean Anthony in the first 2:56 of the game, Raymundo settled down with five points to help the Llamados get the fine start coach Tim Cone had wanted. (NC) 

The scores: 

POWERADE 131 - David 37, Casio 22, Lassiter 19, Anthony 13, Vanlandingham 11, Kramer 10, Cruz 6, Antonio 6, Adducul 4, Lingganay 3, Allera 0, Crisano 0. 

B-MEG 123 - Raymundo 26, Simon 25, Yap J. 23, Pingris 14, De Vance 11, Barroca 10, De Ocampo 7, Reavis 3, Urbiztondo 2, Yap R. 2. Quarters: 23-30, 47-57, 78-87, 115-115, 131-123


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