Sportsaholic

B-Meg rises again with Easter Sunday win over Meralco

Denzel Bowles led B-Meg's 4th-quarter surge. (Photo courtesy of the PBA)

The B-Meg Llamados, a team given up for dead after losing by 22 points in Game 1, fittingly completed their resurrection on Easter Sunday, outplaying the Meralco Bolts 86-76 to win their best-of-three quarterfinal series and advance to the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.

Denzel Bowles, at 22 the youngest among the imports seeing action in this conference, played with the poise of a veteran, outplaying the more experienced Earl Barron during a crucial stretch in the fourth period when the Llamados held the Bolts without a field goal for over 10 minutes and broke open a close game.

With the Llamados trailing 72-73 with less than six minutes left, Bowles rattled off 10 straight points against a solitary free throw by Sol Mercado to push B-Meg ahead 82-74 with only two minutes left. It was part of a murderous 21-3 B-Meg blast that turned a 65-71 deficit into an 86-74 lead, a period during which the Bolts were held without a single field goal and made only three free throws.

Bowles was everywhere in the fourth. He started the run with split at the free throw line. He gave the Llamados the lead for good with a three-point play off an assist from Jonas Villanueva. Then he rebounded a PJ Simon miss and scored on a putback just as the last two minutes were being announced to make it a three-possession game at 82-74.

"I'm just glad," Bowles said. "I'm proud of my team. We got blown out in the first game, and we came back to win the last two."

But for B-Meg coach Tim Cone, it was Villanueva who spelled the difference during the breakaway.

"The only good thing I did tonight was put Jonas in the game in the fourth (period)," Cone said of his decision to put in the seldom-used point guard. "The deciding factor was putting Jonas in. He got us under tempo. He's been working hard in practice and he has always impressed me. PJ played well, Denzel and Ping (Marc Pingris) had huge rebounds. James was a consistent threat that they spent a lot of time guarding him. But Jonas was the big difference tonight."

Villanueva didn't attempt a shot in 13 minutes, but he changed the complexion of the game by pushing the tempo and playing good defense. "Jonas is the third point guard in our team right now," Cone noted. "Jonas is a stabilizer. He knows what he has to do inside."

The win by B-Meg set up a mouth-watering semifinal clash with Barangay Ginebra, and Cone is relishing the thought of going at it with the team that beat them in the playoff for the second semifinal berth.

"After we lost to Ginebra in the knockout (game), we wanted to play them again," Cone said. "This series toughened us up. It will make us tougher, sharper and better."

The two sister teams are arguably the two most popular in the league, but strangely enough, they haven't met in a playoff series since 1997, when they were known as the Gordon's Gin Boars and Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys. Purefoods, then owned by the Ayalas, beat Gordon's Gin in six games in the '97 All-Filipino finals.

The Kings, though, will be going to battle minus their leader Mark Caguioa, who might be out for the whole best-of-five series after fracturing an orbital bone in that playoff game. The series starts on Wednesday.

"What happened to Caguioa is sad," Cone said. "I feel sorry for him and I hope he gets back. I'll be praying for him."

For Meralco, it was a disappointing end to a best-of-three series that got off to a promising start. After routing the Llamados 103-81 in Game 1, the Bolts lost leading local scorer Mark Cardona barely two minutes into Game 2 and ended up losing 95-85. Cardona managed not to get himself ejected this time, but a leg injury in the second period affected his mobility, and he scored only two points in 31 minutes. The Bolts also shot themselves in the foot by missing 14 free throws, including three during B-Meg's big run.

The other semifinal will pit defending champion Talk 'N Text against surprise semifinalist Barako Bull Energy, which routed Alaska 106-85 behind Gabe Freeman's 34 points and 19 rebounds. Their series fires off on Tuesday as the PBA will again alternate the two semifinal series.

E-mail: sid_ventura@yahoo.com. Twitter: @Sid_Ventura

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Gasoline prices up, diesel down
    Gasoline prices up, diesel down

    Oil companies announced yesterday a price hike of 50 centavos per liter for gasoline and a rollback of 50 centavos per liter for diesel effective at 6 a.m. today. Independent oil firms were among the first to announce the price adjustment. In an advisory, PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm said it cut diesel prices by 50 centavos per liter and increased gasoline prices by 50 centavos per liter. …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. “Maybe we should not think about getting …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

  • UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term
    UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term

    The United Nations has been asked to look into   110 cases of torture and numerous cases of illegal arrests during the Aquino administration. Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, yesterday said the matter could be looked into when the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) visits from May 25 to June 3 to monitor the  implementation of the Optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OpCAT), which the Philippines ratified in 2012. “We enjoin the UN SPT to …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options