After costly blunders in the last game, B-MEG import Denzel Bowles atoned for himself with a spectacular perfomance, hitting the biggest baskets in the clutch to carry the Llamados over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 91-87, Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
B-MEG’s Game Three victory, which came in front of an electric crowd of 14,493, was once again decided down the wire. Unlike in Game Two, Bowles came through in the dying seconds to give the Llamados a 2-1 lead.
The former James Madison University star scored 28 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks, and made four clutch free throws that preserved the Llamados’ win.
Talk ‘N Text was still alive after Bowles’ last pair of free throws gave B-MEG a 90-86 advantage with just 16.8 seconds left. Donnell Harvey and Jayson Castro missed their attempts in the ensuing possession, but Jimmy Alapag was able to recover the ball for the Tropang Texters. The league’s reigning Most Valuable Player drew Bowles’ six and last foul, earning three free throws in the process.
But Alapag, who had been struggling all series long, muffed his first free throw. He made the second, and missed the third intentionally hoping for his teammates to recover the ball, but Mark Barroca was able to secure the rebound. Barroca was fouled and split his free throws for the final score.
James Yap, another player who made crucial blunders for the Llamados in the second game, also had an explosive performance with 21 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the three-point line. But the real key for the Llamados was their defense, which held the potent Talk ‘N Text offense to below 35% shooting from the field, with Castro and Alapag shooting a combined 5-of-32 (15.6%).
B-MEG coach Tim Cone, however, denied that the team was slowing down the tempo deliberately to hold back Talk ‘N Text to a low score.
“We’re not really thinking about that,” he said when was asked if his gameplan called for holding the scores below 100 points.
“We’re not looking to slow down the tempo. We feel we’re a good defensive team in transition and we want to play them toe-to-toe. We got some guys who can put the ball in the hole like James, PJ (Simon), Denzel, Josh (Urbiztondo) and Joe (Devance).”.
Harvey and Ryan Reyes led the way for the Tropang Texters with 21 points apiece. The Talk ‘N Text import also had 14 rebounds, eight on the offensive end.
B-MEG 91 – Bowles 28, Yap 21, Urbiztondo 12, Simon 12, Intal 5, Barroca 4, Reavis 4, Pingris 2, De Ocampo 2, Devance 1
Talk ‘N Text – Harvey 21, Reyes 21, Peek 15, Castro 11, Fonacier 7, Alapag 6, Williams 5, De Ocampo 1, Gamalinda 0, Dillinger 0
Quarters: 19-21, 37-36, 62-64, 91-87
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