MANILA — B-Meg is in the heat of a chase where anything can happen, so it is not about to give any quarters, even to a wounded foe.

The Llamados stressed that by pouncing on Talk N Text’s decimated lineup and carving a 114-104 victory last Tuesday that kept them within sight of a coveted top two slot in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"This is the time to get Talk N Text," B-Meg coach Tim Cone said after the triumph over a TNT crew that welcomed back Jimmy Alapag but still missed the services of the injured Ryan Reyes, Jared Dillinger, Ali Peek and Aaron Aban.

"This is the time you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity, when they’re not in full strength," added Cone.

The win was the Llamados’ eighth in 12 games, moving them just half-a-game behind the Tropang Texters and well within striking distance of Petron Blaze, currently leading the pack at 9-3.

The Llamados could attain a top two finish if they sweep their remaining games against Barako Bull and and either or both the Boosters and Texters lose at least one of their own last outings.

The top two teams after the 14-game eliminations will be rewarded with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals while the rest go through a pair of best-of-three duels.

Cone has firmly set his sights on a top two slot.

"Petron and Talk N Text still play each other and Talk N Text still plays Ginebra as well," he noted.

"There are still tough opponents for them. Somebody has to lose between Petron and Talk N Text. We’ve got a shot at it."

Cone, however, admitted there’s still no sure thing for his team either.

"Barako beat us the first time around and Shopinas certainly doesn’t want to be the first team to lose 14 straight games in (PBA) history, so we’ve got a couple of battles ourselves. We can’t assume either of those games," he stressed.

One thing Cone is certain is that his team will go deep if his players continue playing like they did against TNT.

Before a crowd of over 10,000, B-Meg displayed grace under pressure, refusing to wilt in the face of a gritty fight-back by TNT from an early 17-point deficit and into a 78-76 lead going into the fourth period.

Co-captains James and Roger Yap, with precious help from Kerby Raymundo, Josh Urbiztondo and Marc Barroca took turns taking over to bail the team out.

James Yap highlighted his 27-point game with 12 points on 5-for-6 field shooting, in the final canto.

Raymundo added nine of his 18 while Urbiztondo and Barroca alternated in orchestrating the Llamados’ offense and making stops on the Texters’ dreaded backcourt.

And then there was Roger Yap, who scored four points, issued four of his seven assists and added two rebounds in the last 12 minutes that forced Cone to keep usual closer PJ Simon on the bench.

"We righted the ship, we didn’t panic and we stuck with what we did," noted Cone.

"That takes great discipline. I’m so amazed with the discipline these guys have. That’s why they’re so successful, with what they’re doing right now."

Add comment

Security code

Latest comments