The B-MEG Llamados set up a blockbuster best-of-five semifinals showdown with Barangay Ginebra following an 86-76 victory over the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
This will only be the fourth time since 1988 the two franchises will meet in a playoff series.
The Anejo Rhum 65ers defeated the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs in four games, 3-1 in the 1988 All-Filipino finals.
Nine years later, the Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys exacted vengeance against the Gordon’s Gin Boars in the same All-Filipino tournament.
The two squads had a short playoff matchup in the 2001 Philippine Cup quarterfinals, when Ginebra beat Purefoods twice on a memorable game-winning shot by Ronald Magtulis.
B-MEG and Ginebra will meet for the first time in an import-laden conference, which will begin on Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Llamados coach Tim Cone said the series against the Bolts toughened up his team for the meeting against Ginebra.
“The moment we lost to Ginebra, the first thing we talked about is that we wanted to get back and play them again and it’s a good thing we can play them again. This series will toughen us up against Ginebra,” said Cone
“It’s better that we went through a tough series against Meralco than just making it to the semis and wait for them.”