2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Roundup: Game 1

Denzel Bowles puts it down with authority as the
Llamados draw first blood in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals.
*Unless otherwise specified, all images are by Paolo Papa/InterAKTV.com

On a night Talk N Text was mainly shooting blanks from the stripe, B-Meg chose an inopportune time to follow suit.

Good thing then that the Llamados still managed to put in a point here and there to escape with a victory Monday at the start of their PBA Commissioner's Cup championship duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Denzel Bowles and Donnell Harvey practically canceled each other out and it was PJ Simon bucking foul trouble to score eight of his 18 points during a crucial stretch that essentially enabled B-Meg to gain the head start in the best-of-seven series.

It was those bricks from the stripe that gnawed at B-Meg coach Tim Cone the most, and TNT counterpart Chot Reyes also cited it as the main reason following the game watched by close to 14,000 fans.

Despite such dismal charity shooting, TNT still managed to fight back from two early 14-point deficits, wrest control in the third period and bucked a field goal-less stretch in the fourth period to keep within striking distance.

Jimmy Alapag's triple even shoved the defending champions within 82-86, but that proved to be their last gasp as they went 0-for-3 and committed a turnover inside the final 44 seconds.

Cone could let out his sigh of relief only after the final buzzer has sounded, however, as James Yap and Marc Pingris could only manage splits in their respective final trips to the line.

Cone expects TnT to bounce back strong come Game 2 Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.

Bowles finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds while Joe Devance and Pingris added 11 each.

Before the series started, Reyes expressed his apprehension about B-Meg's depth and he was proven right when the likes of Mark Barroca, JC Intal, Yancy de Ocampo and even Rafi Reavis chipped in. Reavis wound up with a team-high 12 boards.

It was also Devance who buried B-Meg's lone triple for the night and it came during an 18-5 run during the first eight minutes of the fourth period that wiped out TnT's 67-62 lead and installed the Llamados on top to stay, 80-72.

Harvey also had 25 points to go with 13 rebounds, but Alapag and Ryan Reyes were the only other Texters who had double digit outputs.

With Bowles throwing his weight around the shaded lane and Simon, Pingris and Reavis lending ample help, B-Meg posted early leads of 28-14 and 30-16 and went into the halftime break with a 48-40 spread.

That proved flimsy enough during the third period that saw Larry Fonacier scattering seven points, Bowles committing five of his gamehigh seven turnovers and the Texters missing just three of 10 free throw attempts to outscore the Llamados, 27-13.

BML 88 -  Bowles 25, Simon 18, Devance 11, Pingris 11, Yap 9, Barroca 4, Intal 3, Reavis 3, Urbiztondo 2, De Ocampo 2, Villanueva 0.
TNT 82 - Harvey 25, Alapag 12, Reyes 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 6, Dillinger 5, Castro 5, De Ocampo 5, Carey 4, Peek 2, Gamalinda 0, Aguilar 0.
QS: 25-14, 48-40, 62-67, 88-82

PJ Simon sizzled at the right time to help propel
B-Meg to a 1-0 advantage in the series.
Tim Cone is seeking redemption after the Llamados
were ousted prematurely in the previous conference.
Donnel Harvey (center) and the Texter struggled with their
free throws in Game 1.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV.com)

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from PBA.ph
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