B-Meg triumphs, ties for second
B-MEG put premium on defense down the stretch and hammered out an 88-83 victory over Meralco last night to gain a share of second place in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Far from their best offensively, the Llamados worked doubly hard on the other end in the last three minutes to shut down the Bolts and improve to 3-1 in a tie with idle Petron.
Marcus Blakely and Marc Pingris got the job done on both ends of the floor in the final period, combining for 17 points aside from putting up solid interior defense that broke up the Bolts’ final play.
Pingris, who scored all but one of his 10 points in the second half, challenged Reynel Hugnatan’s potential game-tying layup to force a miss with four seconds left, before Blakely grabbed the last of his seven rebounds.
Blakely finished with 31 points, but it was his defense on Marc Cardona that caught the attention of coach Tim Cone.
“Between him and [Pingris], we got guys who can shut down players,” Cone said.
Cardona racked up eight straight points to tie the game at 83 with 2:46 remaining before Blakely asked Cone to defend the Meralco swingman. The Bolts went scoreless from there while Pingris scored on a putback and a split from the line to give the Llamados cushion near the end.
The Bolts absorbed their third loss in four games as they bid farewell to import Champ Oguchi who didn’t do much to convince Meralco to keep him. Oguchi had 12 points, but missed all of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Bolts have flown in former Atlanta Hawk Mario West to replace Oguchi when they face the Alaska Aces on Sunday.
B-MEG 88—Blakely 31, Yap 19, Pingris 10, De Ocampo 9, Villanueva 6, Urbiztondo 5, Intal 4, Reavis 4, Acuna 0, Barroca 0.
MERALCO 83—Cardona 27, Ross 18, Oguchi 12, Taulava 8, Hugnatan 4, Bulawan 2, Reyes 1, Daa 0, Macapagal 0, Artadi 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 40-39, 66-66, 88-83
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