Yap, Barroca help B-Meg duplicate over Alaska
MANILA, Philippines—James Yap found his range when B-Meg Derby Ace needed it, carrying the Llamados to an energy-sapping 92-89 double overtime win against the Alaska Aces Sunday night in the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The two-time MVP drilled in all of his four attempts from the field in the second extension period while rookie Mark Barroca had several brilliant moments of his own, filling in the shoes of Peter June Simon on helping the Llamados duplicate over the Aces.
Barroca tallied a career-high 22 points, including a wide-open corner jumper that pushed B-Meg ahead by four, 1:36 to go, before Yap closed it out with a pair of floaters that pinned the seventh defeat of the Aces in eight games.
“It was an epic game of big shots and big stops. It’s kind of weird because I’m proud of both sides,” said B-Meg coach Tim Cone, who led the Aces to 13 championship before bringing his vaunted triangle offense over to the Llamados.
L.A. Tenorio also came up big, pumping in 28 points before cramps in the first overtime slowed him down.
Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss came to Alaska’s rescue in extra time after coach Joel Banal was forced to bench Tenorio after regulation.
But above all, Cone was all praises on Barroca, the 5-foot-9 guard he earlier described as having the makings of a Johnny Abarrientos, the 1996 MVP who anchored Alaska to a grandslam in the same season.
“Mark’s energy and aggressiveness remind me of the young Abarrientos,” said Cone. “He’s rookie and make some wild mistakes. Eventually you get those mistakes under control.”
Cone’s faith on Barroca was tested when the co-captain of the Smart Gilas national team, which finished fourth in the Fiba Asia Championship, was asked to take the last shot in the first overtime.
With the clock winding down, Barroca shook off Baguio, spun and launched a fadeaway jumper that bounced off the rim, sending the match to another extension where Yap took over.
Yap had 10 points in the first period but struggled in the middle quarters and the first overtime before finding his rhythm to spark B-Meg’s fifth victory in nine outings.
The Llamados lost Simon, their second top scorer capable of putting in 14.9 points per game, to a sprained ankle in their victory over the Meralco Bolts last Friday.
“No doubt we missed his (Simon) creativity and energy on the floor. He’s a very good decision maker and defensive stopper,” said Cone, who made it 2-0 this conference against his former team.
Alaska had the opportunity to settle the score in the initial extra five minutes but Jayr Reyes misfired a well-covered shot under the rim in the dying seconds.
“I thought we’re a little bit tired and sluggish and it wasn’t really until overtime that we picked it up,” said Cone. “It really takes a lot of character to hang in there.”
“Baguio had double-double figures of 17 points and 10 rebounds while Reyes added 14 and 13 boards for the Aces, who were in command halfway in the fourth only to squander a six-point lead on a handful of turnovers.
B-MEG 92 – Yap J. 24, Barroca 22, Raymundo 14, Pingris 10, De Vance 9, Maierhofer 5, Urbiztondo 2, Ferriols 2, Reavis 2, Yap R. 2.
ALASKA 89 – Tenorio 28, Baguio 17, Reyes 14, Thoss 13, Baracael 7, Custodio 4, Dela Cruz 4, Eman 2, Salamat 0, Sotto 0.
Quarterscores: 22-25, 34-35, 56-53, 73-73, 80-80, 92-89