IT’S not only Denzel Bowles who has a knack of coming back strong after a bad outing.
James Yap did the same thing with aplomb last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
B-Meg’s former two-time MVP dropped a tournament-high 30 points on Talk ‘N Text and, together with Bowles, carried the Llamados to an 82-66 win for a 3-2 lead in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series.
Bowles turned a 17-point effort in Game 4 into a monstrous 28-point, 18-rebound performance last night as he and James were the only double-digit scorers for the Llamados, who have two shots at winning it all starting tomorrow.
Yap hit three triples right in the first period and helped the Llamados to a 24-15 lead going into the second. In Game 4, Yap was 1-of-9 from beyond the arc and he finished with just 14 markers.
“In a situation like this one, you can’t be discouraged, you can’t second-guess yourself,” Yap said in Filipino when asked how he bounced back from a lethargic Game 4 with his monster game.
The Llamados were also able to post the lopsided victory by playing hard-nosed defense the whole night as they held the defending champion Tropang Texters to their lowest output in the last seven years.
“I really felt that we rediscovered our defense in the first 24 minutes and I was surprised that we continued to hold them down in the second half,” B-Meg coach Tim Cone told reporters later, before talking about the thing that worries him the most.
“It took a tremendous effort by us to win tonight. I hope we have another one left in us,” he said. “We gave our absolute all to win this game tonight. The pressure is on the team with three wins to close out the series, especially against a great team like Talk ‘N Text.”
And while Cone is worried about the game ahead, his counterpart at Talk ‘N Text, Chot Reyes, feels that what he saw last night was his star-studded squad running on fumes.
“I think we don’t have anything left in our gas tank,” Reyes pointed out after acknowledging that they were “lucky to have scored 66 points.”
Jared Dillinger fired 18 points, Jason Castro had 16 and import Donnell Harvey finished with 13 that went with 18 boards.
B-MEG 82—Yap 30, Bowles 28, De Ocampo 8, Simon 5, Urbiztondo, Devance 3, Barroca 2, Pingris 2, Gaco 0, Burtscher 0, Intal 0, Reavis 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 66—Dillinger 18, Castro 16, Harvey 13, Alapag 6, Peek 6, De Ocampo 3, Gamalinda 2, Fonacier 2, Aguilar 0, Reyes 0, Williams 0, Carey 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 41-33, 59-53, 82-66