2012 PBA Governors’ Cup Roundup: June 30 – July 1, 2012

Mario West battles LeRoy Hickerson as the Meralco Bolts
absorb yet another loss in the Governors' Cup.

There was a sense of deja vu for the B-MEG Llamados when Gary David hit a miracle three-pointer in regulation to force overtime for the Powerade Tigers.

But B-MEG had plenty to spare in the overtime period, repulsing a gutsy Powerade side for a 108-98 victory in a thrilling Governors’ Cup encounter at a packed Ibalong Centrum in Legazpi City, Albay.

With the win, B-MEG formalized its entry to the next round as it finished its elimination round campaign with a 6-3 record.

“We were supposed to clinch the semis early, then we found out later that we didn’t clinch it. We thought five was the magic number and we’re either solo second or a game behind Rain or Shine,” said B-MEG coach Tim Cone.

The loss, the third straight for the Tigers, put the squad’s fate in limbo as its win-loss record dropped to 4-5, good for seventh spot.

Only six teams will advance to the semifinal round. Powerade needs to hope that Barako Bull defeats Meralco on Sunday to force a three-way tie for sixth to eighth places, which will result in a two-tier playoff for the last semifinals seat.

The Llamados looked like they had the game in the bag, up four points, 89-85, with just 15 seconds remaining. But Marqus Blakely fouled JVee Casio, who made two of three free throws to cut the lead to a single basket.

The Tigers fouled Josh Urbiztondo, who split his free throws, paving the way for David to hit a turnaround, fadeaway three-pointer off the glass with 1.6 seconds left to force extra time.

“We went into that overtime with a real emotional downer that we thought we had the game won then David hit that three-pointer off the backboard,” said Cone.

David also hit a three-pointer to force overtime in the Tigers’ quarterfinal series against the Llamados in the Philippine Cup, a game Powerade ended up winning. This time, however, B-MEG didn’t let that happen.

“The key was our guys turning around mentally and still going out. We had a couple of steals and a couple of breakaways. I told them before the start of the overtime is a test of character, so they have to prove themselves.”

Back-to-back baskets by James Yap, who had his finest performance in the tournament with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks, triggered a 20-8 run by the Llamados in overtime and put away the Tigers.

With a semis ticket in hand, Cone is already looking ahead.

“We’ve got to have a quick turnaround after this provincial game and prepare for the semis. PJ (Simon) got hurt when he played down the stretch. James played hurt, too, luckily it was just cramps. JC (Intal) has been having problem with his calf the whole conference but we’re managing him,” said Cone.

BML 110 – Blakely 31, Yap 24, Simon 17, Urbiztondo 9, Pingris 8, Intal 6, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 5, Villanueva 4, Barroca 0.
POW 98 – David 34, Casio 23, Sneed 21, Tugade 5, Lingganay 5, Salvador 4, Anthony 2, Belasco 2, Adducul 2, Guevarra 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Vanlandingham 0.
QS: 22-24 47-39 66-63 90-90 110-98

Barako Bull fell short of its target but stayed in the race for the last semis berth following a shaky 81-79 win over Meralco at the end of the elimination phase of the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at the-SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Energy to win by at least five points to secure a one-game bye in the playoffs for the last remaining ticket to the next round, and looked headed in that direction after building a 77-60 spread early in the fourth period with over eight minutes remaining.

But the Bolts, behind the outside sniping of import Mario West, managed to close the gap with a 19-3 assault to threaten at 80-79 with 36.9 seconds remaining.

Barako Bull turned the ball in the next play, allowing the Meralco a chance for a win, which would have given the Bolts an outright semis seat.

But West was forced to kick out the ball to Dennis Daa just above the free throw line and the former Letran forward missed the potential game-winner.

LeRoy Hickerson collared the defensive rebound and pegged the final score with a split.

“Sayang, we’re up 17 but we played not to lose. We didn’t play to win and that’s what happened,” said Energy coach Junel Baculi.

“We tend to relax. Now, we have to go through the long route.”

Barako Bull, Powerade, and Meralco finished the elimination phase with identical 4-5 slates. The Bolts drew a bye with its superior higher quotient.

The Energy and the Tigers will face off in the first playoff encounter on Tuesday, with the winner taking on Meralco for the last semis seat on Wednesday.

Hickerson led Barako Bull with 22 points while Danny Seigle and Ronald Tubid netted 16 and 10 respectively.

It was Seigle who gave the Energy their biggest lead at 77-60, before West, who finished with a conference-best 40 points, piloted the uprising.

Baculi said he’s confident his team could go through the two-game wringer.

“I’m confident because we beat both teams (Meralco and Powerade),” he said.

BAR 81 - Hickerson 22, Seigle 16, Tubid 10, Kramer 8, Miller 7, Allado 7, Cruz 6, Salvacion 3, Najorda 2, Pennisi 0.
MER 79 - West 40, Taulava 15, Cardona 8, Daa 5, Macapagal 5, Bulawan 2, Mercado 2, Hugnatan 2, Ross 0, Reyes 0.
QS: 22-14, 41-39, 69-59, 81-79

Old rivals Mick Pennisi and Asi Taulava jostle for
position in the low block.
Willie Miller is all smiles as the Energy stay alive for a
Semifinals berth.

Rain or Shine needed a defensive stop in the dying seconds to preserve a 92-90 win over Talk ‘N Text and finish with a franchise-best 8-1 mark at the end of the elimination phase of the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Jamelle Cornley blocked an attempt by Ranidel de Ocampo inside the paint to seal the win for the Elasto Painters. Because of eliminations records of each team will be carried over to the semifinals, Rain or Shine needs just three wins to book a finals ticket for the first time in franchise history.

Cornley finished with a team-high 19 points while rookie Paul Lee, who was returning from a shoulder injury, added 18 for the Elasto Painters, which snapped the four-game winning streak of the Tropang Texters.

“Still a satisfying win against the best team in the league in the last few years,” said Rain coach Yeng Guiao.

“Talk ‘N Text has nothing to prove. The proof of burden lies on us. That we’re not just a contender. We need to prove that our time has come.”

Jayson Castro had a game-high 25 points for the Tropang Texters, who finished their eliminations campaign with a 5-4 win-loss mark.

Lee and Castro engaged in a shootout, exchanging basket after basket.

Castro scored five straight points to give Talk ‘N Text an 83-82 lead. Lee responded with a three-pointer, before Castro knotted the score for the last time at 85-all.

Cornley scored four points for the Painters that sandwiched Castro’s two free throws to give Rain or Shine a 91-87 lead.

Larry Fonacier gave Talk ‘N Text some life after converting a three-pointer off Castro’s missed attempt to cut the lead to one point, 91-90, with 3.8 seconds left.

Jeff Chan was sent to the free throw line and split his free throws, giving the Tropang Texters the chance to send the game in overtime with 3.1 ticks remaining.

De Ocampo received the ball inside the lane but was met by three Elasto Painters, including Cornley who swatted the ball away as time expired.

Import Paul Harris had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Talk ‘N Text.

ROS 92 – Cornely 19, Lee 18, Chan 14, Cruz 11, Norwood 9, Belga 7, Quinahan 6, Tang 2, Arana 2, Buenafe 2, Ibanes 2.
TNT 90 – Castro 25, Harris 11, Reyes 11, Williams 10, Fonacier 10, Alapag 8, Aban 5, De Ocampo 4, Peek 4, Aguilar 2.
QS: 27-28, 46-51, 67-68, 92-90

The Elasto-Painters have dared to dream, and it's
look like they're getting closer to fulfilling it.

Jayson Castro poured in 25 points, but it still
wasn't enough to lift TNT to the win.
Unheralded Jamelle Cornley has proven to be
a perfect fit for the Elasto-Painters.
(image from PBA-Online.net)

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Reynaldo Belen and Kris Lagman)

Images: UNless otherwise specified, all images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa) 
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