Sports: PBA ‘Hunger Games’: It’s B-Meg!
Game 7 was the only outing in the best-of-seven series for the Commissioner’s Cup diadem between B-Meg and Talk ‘N Text that went into overtime during lastSunday’s pulsating decider at the Big Dome eventually won by the Llamados in a heart-stopping 90-84 triumph to the dismay of TNT fans.
I was at the Manokan Country for the usual ‘pahiyang’ after attending the 6:30 pm Sunday mass at San Sebastian Cathedral and your Sideline Spectator opted to watch the Second Conference’ final game at my favorite Nena’s Beth chicken restaurant hoping for a Talk ‘N Text victory once again.
As experienced, every time yours truly watches the Tropang Texters play the Llamados in the championships of the import-laced tourney over at the said ‘chicken house’, Talk ‘N Text usually wins against B-Meg as compared to when I watch the games via live stream on www.Philstar.com/PbaLive in the comfort of my quarters at Camp Alfredo Montelibano.
Sad to say, B-Meg went on to win the 2011-12 PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown over deposed champion Talk ‘N Text by prevailing via a come-from-behind 90-84 win in extension as Best Import winner Denzel Bowles of the Llamados single-handedly carried his team to that epic championship triumph.
With TNT comfortably ahead at 68-60 going into the final turn of the payoff period, B-Meg outscored the Tropang Texters, 16-8, in the final portion of the last quarter to send the game into overtime and with the title almost in the bag for the then reigning Commissioner’s Cup titlists.
However, with import Donnell Harvey out on fouls and with key players like Ranidel de Ocampo, Ryan Reyes and Jimmy Alapag on the bench due to cramps and injuries, B-Meg capitalized on their absence and went on to dominate the Tropang Texters of mentor Chot Reyes in the overtime period to score their first ever PBA title under Coach Tim Cone.
After taking the opening period, 21-18, B-Meg was outscored by TNT in the next canto, 17 to 13, as the Tropang Texters took the half at 35-34 behind Alapag’s surprise offensive success after averaging just 7.15 points in the first six outings of the series. Alapag finished the game with 29 points by making seven of his 11 tries from beyond the arc as TNT stormed to a 61-56 advantage at the end of the third.
Things went as planned for TNT at the start of the fourth with Talk ‘N Text even taking an eight-point lead before B-Meg countered to make it 74-70. A basket for the Llamados made it 74-72 before Ali Peek and Jayson Castro split their respective charities sandwiching a Llamados twinner courtesy of Josh Urbiztondo to give TNT a 76-74 lead with 17 seconds left in the game.
However, in the ensuing play, Bowles was fouled by Kelly Williams with 1.2 ticks remaining and the young American reinforcement sealed the deal with his two charities for B-Meg to force overtime that sent the huge Smart Araneta Coliseum crowd into a roaring frenzy.
In OT, Talk ‘N Text scored the first basket to make it 78-76 but B-Meg could not be denied the victory as Finals Most Valuable Player James Yap and Bowles gave Coach Tim his first crown as the Llamados’ bench tactician after winning numerous PBA titles at Alaska by conniving to outscore TNT, 14-8, in the extra five minutes.
Trending-wise, the team that wore the dark uniform and which won the odd-numbered games in the series (Games 1, 3, 5 and 7), in this case-B-Meg, reigned supreme in this titular showdown. However, there’s no denying the Llamados of that victory with Bowles exploding for 39 markers in Game 7 including 21 rebounds and three blocked shots. For the deposed Commissioner’s Cup titlists Talk ‘N Text, Alapag and company lost a good fight to a better team with the best import in town and there’s no reason for them to feel bad since this marked the fifth straight time they’ve been in a PBA finals, winning three of the last five conferences two seasons in a row.
Undeniably, B-Meg was the more hungry team though....*
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