MANILA, Philippines—B-Meg regrouped after a poor start en route to an emphatic 82-67 win over Barangay Ginebra Wednesday night for a 1-0 semifinals edge in the 37th PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo, Rizal.
The Llamados, who just came through a grueling series against the Meralco Bolts, overcame an 8-23 deficit it faced in the opening minutes of the second quarter thanks to a blistering 25-6 run to end the first half.
B-Meg never looked back as it frustrated Ginebra on both ends of the floor to lead by as much as 25, 74-49, on a basket by Mark Pingris.
“We got going there in the second half, we started knocking down some shots and we built the lead. It was a surprising lead to me, I don’t know how we did it, it just kind of occurred,” said B-Meg head coach Tim Cone.
The Gin Kings, who severely missed the services of Mark Caguioa due to an injury, were fortunate enough to only trail 29-33 at the intermission but luck didn’t come their way in the second half were they were just out of sync as evidenced by a slew of unforced errors and several missed opportunities that could’ve narrowed the gap.
Rudy Hatfield botched a rare open lay-up after a good ball movement that led to a Josh Urbiztondo triple in transition.
The Kings then failed to capitalize on a two-on-one fastbreak as Dylan Ababou lost the ball out of bounds. Denzel Bowles pounced on that error with a hook shot on the other end that had B-Meg in control, 52-34, at the 6:18 mark.
Bowles finished with 21 points while PJ Simon added 13 markers.
“I’ve been here many times before. I’ve won the first game of a series many times and that doesn’t really mean much,” added Cone.
“It’s the next one (that really matters), you have got to follow it up. Second game is really the key in my mind.”
Game 2 is set on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.