The celebration of fans and players of B-MEG is not yet over, but this early, observers are ranking the Llamados’ dramatic 90-84 overtime victory over Talk ‘N Text in Game Seven of the Commissioner’s Cup finals as one of the best ever.
B-MEG assistant coach Koy Banal is immediately reminded of one of the greatest games from the PBA’s yesteryears: Game Five of the 1980 Open Conference between Toyota and U/Tex.
“U/Tex was down by four, and won,” said Banal, whose team won the championship on the eve of his birthday for an early gift. “In fact, naglabas na nga ng banner ang Toyota at that time, only to be spoiled by U/Tex.”
Late in the game between Talk ‘N Text and B-MEG, there was confusion amid the roar of the crowd, as people thought the game was already over, and just like in 1980, a banner bearing the name of Talk ‘N Text was already brought out at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
It turned out that the Llamados still had a lease on life, as Denzel Bowles was fouled by Kelly Williams with 1.7 seconds left. The 23-year-old import made both of his free throws to send the game into overtime, where B-MEG pounced on the shorthanded Tropang Texters.
In 1980, U/Tex was trailing, 94-90, with just 16 seconds to go. Toyota players and their diehards already began their celebration.
But Aaron James, one of two imports for U/Tex, made a quick basket. The Wranglers then forced a turnover, allowing their other import, former Boston Celtics guard Glen McDonald to streak to the basket for a fastbreak, in the process drawing a foul.
Just like Bowles, McDonald made both his foul shots, sending the game into overtime. The momentum carried U/Tex to a 99-98 overtime victory.
InterAKTV contributor Jay P. Mercado, who works as a consultant for the Greatest Games broadcast on Pinoy X-treme, thinks that the B-MEG-Talk ‘N Text classic is on for the books.
“I would rank it as the next best to Ginebra’s dramatic Game Seven victory over Shell in 1991,” said Mercado, referring to the 1991 First Conference which saw Robert Jaworski and company complete a comeback from a 3-1 deficit with a dramatic game-winning shot by Rudy Distrito over the outstretched arms of Benjie Paras.