B-Meg erases 19-point deficit to stun Petron

Cone ejected

TEAM STANDINGS:
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: 9-2 (1-1)
B-Meg Llamados: 8-3 (2-0)
Brgy. Ginebra Kings: 7-4 (2-0)
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters: 6-5 (1-1)
Petron Blaze Boosters: 6-6 (1-2)
*Meralco Bolts: 4-8 (0-3)
 
*-Eliminated
 
 
GAME THURSDAY
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m. – Ginebra vs. Rain or Shine
 
GAMES FRIDAY
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. – Meralco vs. B-Meg
7:35 p.m. – Petron vs. TNT
 
No coach Tim Cone, no problem for B-Meg. There’s import Marqus Blakely to save the day.

Getting another monstrous game from their do-it-all reinforcement, the Llamados bucked the ejection of Cone and a sluggish start to pull off a stirring 104-93 victory over defending champion Petron Blaze Wednesday night that bolstered their finals chances in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Fresh from a 26-point, 20-rebound outing in their 94-91 win over Talk ‘N Text last Saturday, Blakely came up big anew with 35 markers, 11 boards, five steals and three blocks to help B-Meg overcome an early 19-point deficit and gain its eighth win in 11 games, just a full game behind pacesetting Rain or Shine.

“That’s what we talk about in our practices. Defense wins championships. If we stick with our defense, our offense will come,” noted Blakely.

James Yap, still groping because of back spasms, managed to deliver 20 markers while Mark Pingris had 18 and PJ Simon 10 for the Llamados, who eventually got into their groove after Cone was thrown out late in the second quarter.

Alex Cabagnot scattered 22 points, 17 coming in his torrid first-half showing, while Jay Washington posted 15 markers and Arwind Santos 14 for the Boosters, who dropped their second straight game–where they took control early–and sixth overall in 12 outings that virtually inflated their title-retention bid.

With the Llamados not their usual selves and trailing  38-57 with 1:43 left in the second canto, Cone apparently vented his ire on Petron import Marcus Faison, storming to the court that forced the game officials to throw him out for his second technical foul infraction.

But that intense scene completely woke the Llamados from long stupor– and just in time.

Simon scored six straight points to finish the first half and the Llamados sustained their charge in the third, methodically chopping down the Boosters behind their reinvigorated defensive pressure.

With Blakely starting to assert himself, the Llamados initially pulled to within 64-69, but back-to-back-treys from Santos and Hontiveros to start the fourth restored order for Boosters, padding their lead to 79-67.

Then Jonas Villanueva came to life for B-Meg. The back-up point guard scored all of his eight points in the Llamados’ 14-2 run that forged the game’s first deadlock at 81-apiece.

Cabagnot’s trey gave the Boosters their last taste of the lead 84-81, then it was all Llamados from then on.

Blakely gamely put on an electrifying show, igniting a decisive 23-5 run highlighted by two awe-inspiring dunks that completely took the fight out of the Boosters.

“When you’re in a system, you sort of dream for that opportunity to win,” stated assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who ably filled the big shoes left by Cone along with fellow assistants Richard del Rosario and Koy Banal. “We’re all talking here because we did it together.”

Earlier, Ranidel de Ocampo had 24 points while Japeth Aguilar finished with 20 markers and 10 boards as the Tropang Texters bounced back with a convincing 108-84 win over the Meralco Bolts to keep their finals hopes alive.

A strong first half was all the Tropang Texters needed to improve their record to 6-5, good for fourth spot.

Import Mario West had 21 points for the Bolts, who are already out of contention with a dismal 4-8 mark.
 
 

The scores:
 
First Game
 
TALK N' TEXT 108 – De Ocampo 24, Aguilar 20, Alapag 12, Williams 11, Harris 10, Peek 8, Castro 7, Fonacier 5, Alvarez 5, Raymundo 4, Gamalinda 2, Aban 0, Lao 0.
 
MERALCO 84 – West 21, Cardona 13, Daa 11, Mercado 9, Bulawan 8, Taulava 6, Hugnatan 5, Ballesteros 4, Reyes 4, Borboran 3, Ross 0, Timberlake 0, Artadi 0.
 
Quarters: 31-16, 64-43, 89-63, 108-84
 
Second Game
 
B-MEG 104 - Blakely 35, Yap 20, Pingris 18, Simon 10, Villanueva 8, Reavis 4, De Ocampo 4, Urbiztondo 3, Barroca 2.
 
PETRON 93 - Cabagnot 22, Washington 15, Santos 14, Ildefonso 14, Faison 12, Lutz 6, Hontiveros 5, Yeo 2, Miranda 2, Pena 1.
 
Quarters: 19-32, 44-57, 67-74, 104-93

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