Biyernes, Abril 13, 2012
ANTIPOLO – B-Meg coach Tim Cone insisted, somehow, they have Meralco to thank for in drawing first blood in their semifinal duel with Barangay Ginebra.
Toughened up by their highly physical semis battle with the Bolts, the Llamados showed up the Kings, 82-67, in the opener of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four showdown at the Ynares Sports Center here Wednesday night.
“I really feel our physical game against Meralco prepared us tonight. We’re mentally prepared to play that kind of game,” said Cone.
The Llamados showed physical and mental toughness, overcoming a poor start and winning in runaway fashion.
Cone stressed, though, it’s just one game that doesn’t decide the series.
“I’ve been here many times before. Game One doesn’t mean much. Second game is really the key in my mind. It’s either you get out of a hole or get a big lead,” said Cone.
In this series opener, the Llamados climbed out of an early 15-point hole and showed tremendous sustaining power, dominating the Kings in the final half.
“It’s an interesting first half. They’re No. 1 in the league on defense and we’re No. 2. At halftime, I told the guys if we have to bleed for our points, don’t be afraid. That’s the way to win it,” said Cone.
“We got going in the second half, we started knocking shots then we built a lead. It was a surprising lead and to me that’s the story of the game,” Cone added.
The Kings got off to a strong start but tapered off in the second quarter and failed to recover, terribly missing the services of injured star Mark Caguioa.
Jackson Vorman sizzled with seven points, five rebounds and three assists in the opening period but he himself cooled down in the next three quarters.
Probably due to frustration, Vroman lost his cool in his rugged battle with Yancy de Ocampo in the second half. He incurred a flagrant foul penalty 1 for shoving De Ocampo’s face.
Marc Pingris also drew an F1 earlier in a collision with Enrico Villanueva. Pingris’ infraction seemed to fire up his teammates, though.
The Llamados made a big turnaround from a 15-point deficit early on, building 20-point spreads in the fourth quarter and breezing through in what was expected to be a slam bang setto.
Getting the wake up call from their second group, the Llamados went roaring in the second quarter and took the half at 33-29.
Pingris, De Ocampo and PJ Simon ignited their charge from 8-23 down, pulling even at 26-all on a short jumper by James Yap and pulling ahead, 29-26, on a three-pointer by Joe Devance.
The Kings lost their rhythm in the second period, converting only two of 20 attempts for the second worse shooting in a quarter by Ginebra ever. (SB)
B-MEG 82 - Bowles 21, Simon 13, Devance 9, Yap 9, De Ocampo 9, Urbiztondo 6, Reavis 5, Intal 4, Pingris 4, Villanueva 2, Barroca 0.
GINEBRA 67 - Vroman 10, Labagala 10, Villanueva 8, Hatfield 8, Cortez 7, Canaleta 6, Helterbrand 6, Ababou 5, W. Wilson 4, J. Wilson 2, Raymundo 1, Mamaril 0.
Quarters: 8-21, 33-29, 60-42, 82-67
Martes, Abril 10, 2012
Manila Clasico Redux: B-meg Sets Up Rare Showdown With Ginebra
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.
A semi-final series between old rivals Ginebra and B-MEG: what a thrilling concept. Connect today's Ginebra with yesterday's Ańejo. Search for what binds today's B-MEG and yesterday's Purefoods. Highlight the never-say-die spirit. Single out Alvin Patrimonio. Maybe you're too old to forget. Maybe you're too young to remember. But a possible clash between Ginebra and B-MEG honors the past and enlivens the future.
The Ańejo-Purefoods rivalry became so mainstream in 1988 it was impossible to miss. It split my highschool class in half. We remember teachers because of their affiliation. Mr. Brazal was pro-Ginebra. Fr. Perez was pro-Purefoods. The technician of the science lab looked like Chito Loyzaga. We dubbed one classmate, who had the audacity to wear Jaworski signature shoes in a sea of Nike Airs, "Jawo". Another classmate idolized Patrimonio so much, he triumphantly copied Alvin's haircut but unsuccessfully copied Alvin's game.
I don't wish to undermine Meralco's chances against B-MEG in the quarterfinals
Face it; Ginebra fans will have just as much fun cheering against Mark Cardona, as they will against James Yap. Imagine Cardona beating his chest, with 55 points across his name, showered by a cascade of boos heard from Cubao to Kathmandu. Imagine Sol Mercado locking arms with Mark Caguioa. Imagine Chris Ross sprinting against Mike Cortez. Imagine the euphoria if Ginebra advances at Cardona's expense. Imagine the shock if Meralco, instead of Ginebra, makes it to the Finals.
Fans of the old days make the same mistakes. They say Ginebra instead of the actual team name, Barangay Ginebra Kings. They say Purefoods instead of B-MEG. Younger fans, on the other hand, know what BGK stands for and they use the hash-tag #BMEGPlanet on Twitter. If Ginebra and B-MEG meet again, if fate allows new teams to settle old scores, a series could bridge the gap between Jaworski devotees and Caguioa followers, between Patrimonio supporters and Yap believers. I am too old to forget the past. Yet a rekindled rivalry makes both the old and new young always