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B-MEG withstood the third quarter comeback of Meralco and held on for a 95-79 win Friday night in the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

James Yap had another explosive game with 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and got plenty of support from Peter June Simon and Kerby Raymundo as the Llamados finally reached the .500 mark with a 4-4 slate.

Simon had 17 points before leaving the game after a bad fall while Raymundo added 15 for the team of coach Tim Cone.

“James exploded and took over the game just like that. That’s what great players do,” said Cone on his 6’3 sharpshooter.
“It’s a great team performance. Everybody contributed especially on defense,” he added.

Gabby Espinas led the Bolts with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Mark Cardona and Asi Taulava each had 14 markers.

Meralco slipped to 5-4.

After trailing 2-4 early, B-MEG unloaded a 12-0 blast to take control of the game from there on. The Llamados led by as much as 22 points in the first half before settling for a 55-35 going to the break.

But the Bolts outscored B-MEG in the third period, 28-13, led by Cardona and Taulava to enter the final period trailing by just five, 63-68.

Meralco last threatened at 72-81 before Yap engineered a 14-5 swing and put the game out of reach, 95-77, with 1:38 remaining.

Cone now challenges his players to make a run to catch up the leaders in the team standings.

“This is the time we have to make our surge. We can’t lag too far back and expect to catch up anybody,” said Cone, who faces his former team Alaska anew on Sunday.

The scores:

B-MEG 95 – Yap J. 25, Simon 17, Raymundo 15, Pingris 9, Reavis 7, De Vance 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.

Quarters: 25-19, 55-35, 68-63, 95-79


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