Welcome to the Gary David Show.
David erupted for 37 points, highlighted by eight three-pointers, to lead Powerade to a classic 131-123 overtime win to knock off No. 1 seed B-MEG in the quarterfinals of the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Picking up from where he left off in his team’s 97-88 win in the first game, David played like a man possessed in the last 17 minutes of the match, hitting one big shot after another as the Tigers repeated their unbelievable performance against the heavily-favored Llamados.
Powerade became just the third team ranked No. 8 to dislodge the No. 1 squad in the playoffs.
“Na-challenge lang ako kasi may nagsabi na ‘no chance in hell’ daw kami sa series,” said David, who poured 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. “Ngayon nasa heaven na kami.”
Placing eighth after piling up a 6-8 win-loss record, the Tigers were given by observers virtually no chance against B-MEG, which ended the eliminations with a sizzling eight-game winning streak to cop the top spot.
But Powerade just displayed the bigger heart and fighting spirit, led by David and talented rookies JVee Casio and Marcio Lassiter.
Casio finished with 22 points and 10 assists before fouling out in the final 28 seconds of regulation, while Lassiter had 19 points, including a back-breaking three-pointer that sealed the victory for Powerade.
This will be the first semifinal stint for Powerade since the 2004 Fiesta Conference. The Tigers await the winner of the quarterfinal series between Rain or Shine and Barangay Ginebra.
“Give credit first to God and second to the guys for playing really hard,” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol. “When [the Llamados] were leading, I kept on praying that we could have strong faith to overcome this.”
And they did, despite B-MEG’s threat to pull away early in the game as the Llamados led by as much as 17, 55-38 late in the second period.
B-MEG was still ahead at 102-90 on James Yap’s two free throws, and was holding a 106-97 spread before Casio ignited a strong 15-6 windup capped by David’s three-pointer to send the game in overtime at 112-all.
Then David took charge in extra session, hitting a jumper, a three-pointer, a pair of free throws and another three-pointer to give Powerade a 125-117 with 1:58 remaining.
B-MEG unloaded a quick 6-0 burst to pull within two points, 125-123, but Lassiter quashed the rally with a three-pointer against Yap.
Kerby Raymundo led Llamados with 26 points but only five in the fourth quarter and overtime. Peter June Simon added 25 points while Yap had 23 for B-MEG.
POWERADE 131 – David 37, Casio 22, Lassiter 19, Anthony 13, Vanlandingham 11, Kramer 10, Cruz 6, Antonio 6, Adducul 4, Lingganay 3, Allera 0, Crisano 0.
B-MEG 123 – Raymundo 26, Simon 25, Yap J. 23, Pingris 14, De Vance 11, Barroca 10, De Ocampo 7, Reavis 3, Urbiztondo 2, Yap R. 2.
Quarters: 23-30, 47-57, 78-87, 115-115, 131-123