B-MEG trumps Ginebra, barges into finals

PBA/Nuki Sabio

After a slow start, the B-MEG Llamados turned things around with a strong seven-minute stretch in the second period wherein they held the Barangay Ginebra Kings without a field goal.

That set the tone for B-MEG’s impressive 108-84 triumph Tuesday night at the packed SMART-Araneta Coliseum to barge their way into the finals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Denzel Bowles bounced back with a strong game in Game Four while Marc Pingris anchored the Llamados’ defense as B-MEG finished the semifinals with their most decisive win of the series.

“It’s good to be back in the finals,” said B-MEG coach Tim Cone, who will be making his 24th finals appearance and leading the Purefoods franchise to its 22nd stint in the championship round.

He gave his players all the credit for the win.

“It wasn’t my coaching that get us there. The players did it on their own. They just kept on playing.”

After Jayjay Helterbrand hit a three-pointer at the 7:28 mark of the second period, the Llamados’ defense worked double time, not allowing the Gin Kings a single shot from the field.

That allowed B-MEG to make a blistering 21-4 run to turn a 42-37 deficit to a 58-46 halftime advantage.

It was an all Llamados show from there, with James Yap joining in the scoring fray in the third quarter, wherein he score 9 of his 16 points. His three-pointer at the 4:02 mark of the quarter gave the Llamados a 78-59 lead..

The closest the Gin Kings could come was 13 points on a basket by Mike Cortez early in the fourth quarter, but Ginebra couldn’t sustain its rally, especially with import Jackson Vroman in foul trouble.

The end came for Vroman and the Gin Kings when the import picked up his sixth and final foul with 5:56 left on a loose ball scramble against Pingris.

Bowles, who had a measly 11-point output in Game 3’s loss, bounced back with a 34-point, 14-rebound performance.

Joe Devance added 18 points while Peter June Simon chipped in 11.

The scores:

B-MEG (108) – Bowles 34, Devance 18, Yap 16, Simon 11, Pingris 7, Barroca 5, Intal 5, Villanueva 5, De Ocampo 4, Reavis 2, Urbiztondo 1, Acuna 0, Gaco 0.

Ginebra (84) – Ababou 17, Vroman 14, Cortez 13, Canaleta 12, Helterbrand 10, Hatfield 8, Raymundo 5, Labagala 3, Mamaril 2, Wilson 0, Villanueva 0.

Quarters: 24-31; 58-46; 86-71; 108-84

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