Thursday, December 29, 2011

B-meg New Import (possible) Denzel Bowles

If we follow clues from Noli Eala, Denzel Bowles is possibly the B-meg Derby Ace Llamados new import next conference. Watch here the higlights of the aspirant PBA import

Saturday, December 24, 2011

B-Meg Will Be Back with a Bang, Raymundo Said

MANILA, Philippines - For B-Meg star forward Kerby Raymundo, losing to Powerade in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals was a painful blow but the early vacation gives him time to focus on helping out those who were badly affected by the flash floods in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City as his Christmas mission.

“It was difficult to accept losing at first,” said Raymundo yesterday. “After we were eliminated, I felt bad for two days then I realized it was time to move on. We’re going to bounce back for sure. We’re getting more and more comfortable with coach Tim’s (Cone) system, just a little more adjustment and we’ll be okay. I really admire coach Tim for apologizing to management, our team and the B-Meg fans. I think it was us players who should apologize, not coach Tim, because it was our defense that broke down in the end. It had nothing to do with coaching. But that’s the mark of a good coach. He took the blame and shielded us.”

Raymundo, 30, said he never expected to go out in the quarters. “Our expectations were high,” he went on. “We were hoping to make it to the finals. Our No. 1 seeding didn’t pressure us. We didn’t even think of it in defending our twice-to-beat advantage against Powerade. In Game 1, we were too confident. We thought we would win easy. In Game 2, we fought it out but Powerade played incredible basketball. We challenged their three-point shooters but their shots still fell in. It was their time. It was destiny. Gary (David), (Marcio) Lassiter and Josh (Vanlandingham) delivered – they played so well. That happens in basketball. It’s a reality that we must face. In the 2006 Philippine Cup, we were down 1-3 to coach Tim and Alaska in the semifinals but came back to win three straight then beat Red Bull for the championship. It was our time before. Now, it’s the time for others to shine.”

Raymundo said the early exits of B-Meg and Barangay Ginebra are signs of the times. “It’s good for the PBA and the fans,” he noted. “There is more parity in the league. Rain Or Shine and Powerade used to be in the bottom of the standings. Now, one of them is going to the finals. I’m happy for them. They used to get knocked out of contention early but now, they’re getting the chance to win the championship. It only goes to show that in the PBA, you can never be sure who’s going to win or lose. The competition is very balanced and that makes for a lot more exciting games.”

As for the semifinals, Raymundo said the Rain Or Shine-Powerade series is a toss-up and picked Petron to beat Talk ‘N’ Text, more because the Tropang Texters are hobbled by injuries. “Both series are exciting,” he said. “The Rain Or Shine-Powerade series is 50-50. They’re playing so well that you can’t tell who’s favored. Talk ‘N’ Text has a lot of injuries but if they get healthy, their series is also 50-50 with Petron.”

Raymundo said B-Meg resumes practice on Jan. 9 with the Llamados’ import arriving Jan. 15 at the earliest. “I was told our import is 6-10, a legitimate big man who plays inside,” he continued. “According to coach Tim, I’ll be playing wing. Joe (De Vance) will stay at three, Ping (Marc Pingris) will play four and Rafi (Reavis), Yancy (de Ocampo) and our import will rotate at five. I’ll play three and also four. As a team, we could use a guard stopper, someone to limit wings like Gary. We use P. J. (Simon) as our stopper but he’s more suited for a role like James’ (Yap) because he’s a scorer. Roger (Yap) also helps out on defense at guard.”

This Christmas, Raymundo said he’s taking a break from basketball to enjoy the holidays with family. “Even if we’ve been eliminated, it’s still a Merry Christmas for us because our family is complete,” he said. “We’re counting our blessings. We still made No. 1 in the eliminations although we’re not content with that since we were eliminated early. We’re spending the holidays in town. We’re doing our share to help out those who were affected by the floods in Mindanao. My Christmas wish is for all of us to do our share to give to our less fortunate countrymen.”

Raymundo said B-Meg will be back with a bang. “I think I’ve got three to five more years of playing left and my goal is to win more championships,” he said. “I know it can be done. We’ve got a good coach who can lead us.

Source: Joaquin Henson, The Philippine Star 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Veteran Coach Tim Cone Takes Responsibility for Bmeg Collapse against Powerade

After a rip-roaring start to their Philippine Cup campaign, the B-MEG Llamados now find themselves with a lengthy vacation, thanks to the upset axe of Gary David and the Powerade Tigers.

B-MEG coach Tim Cone took responsibility for the debacle.

“Obviously, we didn’t get to where we’re supposed to achieve so we were really disappointed,” he said. “Although we have just started this season as a team, I felt we could have done better with a veteran-laden squad and I think the fault falls on coaching.”
The 13-time PBA champion coach joined the Llamados amid much hype prior to the season. Cone initially cautioned against expecting too much, and B-MEG stumbled out of the gate, beginning the conference with a 2-4 win loss record.
But the Llamados, led by veteran stars James Yap, Kerby Raymundo, and Peter June Simon, quickly got their bearings, rattling off eight straight wins to finish the elimination round on top of the team standings. B-MEG was heavily-favored going into its matchup with lowly Powerade.
Cone gave credit to David and the Tigers, who shot the lights out against his team.
“Powerade really shot very well from long-distance, 22-of-42 from the three point line,” he said. “Certainly made the difference in our last game.”
A couple of days removed from the loss, the coach is still shaken, and expects to remain so for the time being.
“Things like this one stick with you for quite some time.”
The veteran coach expects his experienced squad, however, to bounce back from the defeat.
“I’m sure we will get through this.”


Without Bmeg and GInebra, PBA is Still Confident of Fan Support

Ginebra and B-MEG, two of the most popular teams in the Philippine Basketball Association, may have been eliminated already, but the league remains confident that the Philippine Cup semifinals will still bring in fans to the games.

With an interesting pair of matchups featuring old rivals on one side and new blood on the other, PBA commissioner Chito Salud believes that the quality of the games will be enough to draw the crowds.

“Yes, Ginebra and B-MEG are the biggest crowd drawers in the PBA, but fans have better reasons of coming to the games in the semis,” he said. “This will be an exciting and interesting semis, which I’m sure our fans will truly love.”

The best-of-seven semifinals kick off on January 4, with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters facing the Powerade Tigers, two teams that pulled off upsets against higher seeds in the quarterfinals. The other semis bracket kicks off on January 5, which features the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters and the Petron Blaze Boosters, bitter rivals who figured in two finals matchups last season.

Instead of the traditional doubleheader, the PBA is rolling out one semis game each night from January 4 to 11, a format reminiscent of conference finals in the National Basketball Association.

New era

Former PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, who now serves as executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, said that having new blood in the semifinals can be a positive for the league.

“The entry of Powerade and Rain or Shine is a sign that the league is now becoming more balanced and unpredictable,” he said, adding that parity among the teams is great for the PBA.

“Kung puwede nga lang na all 10 teams competing in the PBA will be competitive enough to vie for a semis or a championship seat, that would be much better for the PBA, which remains the No. 1 basketball league in the country.”

The final four semifinals also feature no sister teams in the brackets for the first time since the 2009 Philippine Cup, which saw Alaska battle Sta. Lucia and Talk ‘N Text take on San Miguel.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said that the entry of two previously unheralded teams into the semis signals a “new era” in the PBA. The thrilling wins by Powerade against B-MEG and Rain or Shine in its first game against Ginebra, he said, will be remembered and appreciated by the league’s supporters.

“I’m sure these type of games will bring in the fans to the coliseum. Matalino ang mga PBA fans natin.”

Winning support

For Rain or Shine co-owner Raymond Yu, it’s an opportunity for his players to showcase their game to a bigger audience and win not just games, but more support.

“This will be the emergence of new stars playing in the big scene,” he said. “But this will be an opportunity for younger fans to see what our team is capable of doing. I’m sure Rain or Shine and Powerade will give their all to bring the fans to the coliseum.”

Powerade governor JB Baylon said that the presence of top draft picks in the Rain or Shine-Powerade series should make it a classic.

“I hope the PBA fans will like what they will witness, despite the absence of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings,” Baylon wrote on his Facebook account.

Shift to sister team?

Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes said that the semis will be able to capture the attention of fans simply because of the quality of the teams.

“The semis will be interesting because it features the four best teams this conference, period,” Reyes wrote in a text message.

Reyes added that he expects fans of Ginebra and B-MEG to support Petron, their sister team under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella.

Ginebra and B-MEG supporters online, however, seem to indicate more interest in the Rain or Shine-Powerade matchup. Fans of Ginebra, which was swept by Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals, want Powerade to win to avenge the Gin Kings’ loss to the Elasto Painters. B-MEG fans, meanwhile, seem to be rooting for Rain or Shine to defeat Powerade, the conquerors of the Llamados in an epic upset.
AKTV/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Knock Out Game Between The Llamados and the Tigers

Surviving their first do-or-die game Wednesday, the Powerade Tigers are confident they can make it two in a row to steal a seat in the semifinals.

Pushed to the wall, the B-Meg Llamados, meanwhile, express readiness to overcome adversity and preserve order in the playoff seedings.

The Tigers and the Llamados knock each other out in a lone game in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is 6 p.m.

Powerade forced the sudden death in stopping B-Meg, 97-88, at the start of the Philippine Cup post-elims plays Wednesday.

“Our first win was one of the measures of how far we have gone as a team. Our ability to close out the series against the No. 1 team would be a testament to our character,” said Powerade coach Bo

“We believe that we have what it takes to win this game,” Perasol added.

“The team was caught by the law of averages after winning its last eight games. But I’m hopeful they will bounce back Sunday,” said B-Meg top official Rene Pardo.

Talk n Text secured the first slot in the semis in nipping Barako Bull, 81-79, also on Wednesday.

The Tropang Texters now await the winner in the Petron Blaze-Meralco confrontation. The Boosters are 1-0 up following a 91-84 victory Friday.

Gary David scattered 32 points -- all in the first three quarters, Marcio Lassiter added 24 points while Doug Kramer contributed 13 rebounds and 10 points to lead the Powerade charge versus B-Meg

The Tigers handed the Llamados the sorry loss on the day coach Tim Cone turned 54.

On the eve of the match, Cone said the key would be to be sharp right at the get-go. Coming out sharp, however, were the Tigers.

David and company outworked and outfought the Llamados, taking the half at 50-39 and were hardly threatened the rest of the way.

James Yap hit his strides a bit late, topscoring for B-Meg with 21, 15 coming in the final half.

The two-time MVP winner bled for his points in the first half, going 2-of-11 from the field. (SB)

Source: PBA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

B-meg 9-0 in SMART Araneta Coliseum

The B-MEG Araneta Coliseum?

The historic venue may currently have a naming rights deal with SMART, but in the ongoing Philippine Cup, the Llamados have made the Big Dome their homecourt.
Believe it or not, B-MEG was a perfect 9-0 during the eliminations at the Cubao, Quezon City venue.
In the Llamados’ current eight-game winning streak, the last seven were carved out at the Big Dome.
With a 10-4 win-loss record, B-MEG only won once outside the coliseum, on November 11 at the Cuneta Astrodome, a 95-79 rout of Meralco.
On the other hand, its four defeats happened at different venues: at the San Juan Arena (84-78 to Meralco last October 15), in Panabo City, Davao del Norte (87-84 in overtime to Barako Bull), and at the Cuneta Astrodome twice (73-69 to Petron Blaze on October 5 and 96-94 to Talk ‘N Text on October 21).
The second-best record at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, curiously does not belong to the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, which is tied with B-MEG for the best win-loss slate in the conference. The honor belongs to the Tropang Texters’ sister team Meralco, which has a 7-2 record (.778) at the Big Dome.
The Tropang Texters have the third-best record there at -4.
The Big Dome was formally renamed the SMART-Araneta Coliseum during the SMART Ultimate All-Star Weekend last July, when an array of NBA superstars came over and played exhibition games against a PBA selection and the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team.
Prior to the venue’s change of name, Talk ‘N Text had won the 2010-11 PBA season’s first two championships — in the Philippine Cup and in the Commissioner’s Cup. After the the Big Dome was rechristened, however, the Tropang Texters came up short in their quest for the Grand Slam.
Just saying.
Fidel Mangonon III is the head of statistics for the Philippine Basketball Association. His column, The PBAologist, appears exclusively on InterAKTV. For more discussion on the ins and outs of the league, follow Fidel on Twitter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

B-meg Derby Ace llamados Clinches Twice To Beat, Shuts Shopinas

B-MEG secured the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round with just one sizzling first quarter performance.

The Llamados banked on a 28-11 start in the first 12 minutes in booking a spot in the top two with an expected 86-74 win over in the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup Thursday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

James Yap, Josh Urbiztondo and Marc Pingris were responsible in erecting that huge lead as B-MEG never looked back and stretched its winning run to a season-high eight games and finished the elimination round with a 10-4 slot.
For the Clickers, it was a forgettable maiden conference as the Bert Lina franchise registered the all-time longest losing streak in one conference with 14 games.

They are four defeats away of matching the all-time losing streak in PBA history in one season recorded by Great Taste in 1980.
“We played a very good first quarter. We wanted to make a statement early,” said Llamados head coach Tim Cone, who drew 18 points from Joe Devance.

“We had to go through this to focus on the playoffs. It’s still a waiting game on who we will play,” he added.
B-MEG could end up No. 1 and play Powerade in the quarterfinals if Talk ‘N Text (10-3) loses to Ginebra on Sunday. The Llamados have a better quotient over the Texters in case they end up tied at 10-4.

Urbiztondo added 11 points while Pingris also had 11 and collared 12 boards for the Llamados, who won despite Yap’s five-point performance, his lowest output in the tournament.

B-MEG never relinquished that double-digit lead and even padded that advantage to as high as 23 points, 59-36.

The closest Shopinas could get was at 11, 72-83, with 2:14 remaining left in the game.
“It was a tough conference for them but they showed character all the way through,” said Cone of the Clickers, who finished their first tournament with 0-14 mark. “Hats off to Franz (Pumaren) for keeping his guys playing.”

James Sena led Shopinas with 20 points and 13 rebounds while Elmer Espiritu added 16. Clickers enforcer Ogie Menor did not play due to a fractured hand.

B-MEG 86 – De Vance 18, Urbiztondo 11, Pingris 11, Simon 10, Acuna 6, Barroca 5, Yap J. 5, Reavis 5, Raymundo 5, Yap R. 4, De Ocampo 4, Ferriols 2.

SHOPINAS.COM 74 – Sena 20, Espiritu 16, Escobal 12, Ritualo 7, Jazul 6, Sison 5, Duncil 4, Aquino 2, Hubalde 2, Canlas 0, Se 0.
Quarters: 28-11, 53-36, 72-56, 86-74

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Player of the Week: James Yap of B-Meg

MANILA, Philippines - B-Meg's star guard James Yap copped his second Player of the Week award in the PBA Philippine Cup after leading his Llamados team to back-to-back victories in the past week.

According to, Yap scored 21 points, grabbed 3.5 rebounds, and dished 3 assists per game in B-Meg's wins over the Talk N Text Tropang Texters and Barako Bull Energy.

Yap had 27 points on an efficient 11-of-17 shooting in their 114-104 victory over the league leading Texters. He also showed off his ability in the clutch in that game, making 5 of his 6 field goal attempts in the final canto to help the Llamados pull away.

He then had 15 points in B-Meg's 91-90 win over Barako.

B-Meg head coach Tim Cone says Yap's scoring feats is all the more impressive as he is doing it against the PBA's top defenders.

"You know, every team has such able defenders. He's been facing some tough defensive schemes, and still finding ways to be productive," Cone said.

The Llamados are riding a 7-game winning streak and are tied for second place in the league standings with Petron Blaze. They still have a chance of getting a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.


B-meg Llamados Stretches Winning Streak to 7, Survives Against Barako Bull

The quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup won’t start until Dec. 14 but already the B-Meg Llamados are playing like a playoff team.

The Llamados dominated Barako Bull for most part of the game but had to summon their championship experience and poise in the closing minutes to weather a fiery charge by the Energy and escape with a 91-90 victory on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Rookie Mark Baroca sealed B-Meg’s seventh consecutive win,. driving past Barako Bull guard Wynne Arboleda then scoring the marginal basket – a lay-up – off Mick Pennisi and fellow rookie Dylan Ababou with 4.9 seconds remaining. He was fouled on that play but missed the bonus free throw.

“Mark is a gutsy player. He doesn’t fear the wrath of coach. He does what he has to. He does the things that are good and 99 percent of times he’s right,” B-Meg coach Tim Cone said of Barroca, who showed the way for the Llamados with 18 points. The Energy had a chance to win the game but Willie Miller’s desperate 3-point shot over Rafi Reavis bounced off the rim as time expired.

That Barako Bull nearly turn the game around down the stretch caught the crowd by surprise.

B-Meg got off to strong start with excellent shooting that worked almost flawlessly until the third quarter. And the Energy, who appeared overmatched, seemed headed for a blowout loss when Yancy de Ocampo made a basket that gave the Llamado’s their biggest lead at 78-62 with nine minutes remaining in the game. “We made the game a lot more exciting than we should have. We’re not doing the little things anymore in the fourth. I don’t know if we got tired or we started playing lazy on defense. We fouled a lot, they got the momentum and turned the game around,” said Cone, recapping how they squandered the big lead and nearly lost the game in the end. “We were fortunate, honestly, to win that.”

But he also revealed that he left his team on their own especially at the time when they were making mistakes one after the other.

“I wanted our guys to work through it. I left it in their hands to win it, to withstand the storm on their own,” he explained.

James Yap scored 15 points, PJ Simon had 13 while Joe Devance and Kerby Raymundo added 12 apiece for B-Meg, which improved to 9-4 and remained in contention for one of the coveted top two spots that means a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

“Its good to see that we could still win without James having an absolutely great game. That’s good for us,” Cone said. Willie Miller led Barako Bull with 25 points. Danny Seigle, displaying the form that made him one of the league’s top gunner, collected 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including eight straight that pulled Barako Bull within 86-87 with `1:33 left.

After James Yap made two free throws to make it a three-point game, Seigle scored on a baseline drive off Devance before Miller knocked a key-hole jumper over James Yap to put the Energy ahead, 90-89 with 13.7 second left. After a time out, B-Meg worked the ball to PJ Simon, but he couldn’t get a shot off so he passed off to Barroca who desperately attacked the lane. Barako Bull fell to 6-6 on the night Raymundo, Arboleda and Miller made great leaps in their respective careers.

Raymundo added another feather to his cap by becoming the 41st player in league history and fourth this conference to collar at least 1,000 rebounds. He accomplished the feat with 7:46 remaining in the third by rebounding a miss by James Yap.

Arboleda and Miller also had a great night. Arboleda moved past Willie Generalao to eighth spot in the all-time career steals list with 640. He recorded the milestone with 5:02 left in the first quarter. Miller on the other hand, became the seventh player in the league with at least 700 3-points. He joined the club by knocking one with 3:23 to go in the second quarter. Then in the fourth quarter he made a steal with 4:29 to play to become the 20th member of the 500 steals club. (Dave Coros)

The scores:

B-MEG 91 - Barroca 18, Yap J. 15, Simon 13, De Vance 12, Raymundo 12, Reavis 7, Urbiztondo 6, De Ocampo 6, Yap R. 2, Pingris 0.

BARAKO BULL 90 - Miller 25, Seigle 22, Pena 11, Ababou 10, Najorda 8, Pennisi 7, Gatumbato 3, Allado 2, Arboleda 2, Artadi 0, Salvacion 0.
Quarterscores: 18-18, 45-33, 72-59, 91-90

source :

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

James Yap SHines Again as B-meg Defeats Talk n Text

B-MEG stayed steady when Talk ‘N Text made a run, and the Llamados notched their sixth straight victory, 114-104, to stay in the hunt for one of the top two spots in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Llamados kept pushing the ball that tired out the undermanned Tropang Texters, before banking on the clutch shooting of James Yap and Kerby Raymundo as they improved their win-loss mark to 8-4 for the solo third spot.

The win also propelled Petron to the top spot. It was also Talk ‘N Text’s second straight defeat, which caused it to go down to the No. 2 spot with an 8-3 mark.

Yap had another sterling game with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field while Raymundo added 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Llamados, who went undefeated in November like the Boosters.

“This is the time to take advantage of the opportunity in beating Talk ‘N Text because they are not in their full strength,” said B-MEG coach Tim Cone.

“Give the guys the credit. They didn’t panic. They stick in what we did. Despite the big run [Talk 'N Text] made, they played the same way. It was great discipline by the players.”

Josh Urbiztondo and Peter June Simon netted 15 and 11 points respectively for the Llamados, who led by as much as 17 points before the Tropang Texters made a huge run in the third quarter behind Jimmy Alapag. Talk ‘N Text even took a 78-76 lead entering the fourth period.

B-MEG then unloaded a 23-6 run capped by Yap’s step-back jumper to take a 94-84 lead with 7:12 remaining in the game.

Kelly Williams tried to rally his team back as he engineered a 10-4 exchange to put Talk ‘N Text within four points, 94-98 but Yap, Raymundo and Urbiztondo joined forces for a decisive 10-1 assault to put the game away with a little over two minutes remaining.

Harvey Carey had a solid performance for Talk ‘N Text with 25 points and 15 rebounds while Alapag returned from a long hiatus to contribute 15 points and 11 assists, although he was did not play in the last 4:40 of the game due to cramps.

“We still have a shot [for a top two spot],” said Cone, whose last two assignments are against lowly Shopinas and Barako Bull. “Petron and Talk ‘N Text still play each other and have tougher opponents.”

The scores:

B-MEG 114 – Yap J. 27, Raymundo 20, Urbiztondo 15, Simon 11, De Vance 9, Yap R. 9, Pingris 8, Reavis 8, Barroca 7.

TALK N’ TEXT 104 – Carey 25, Castro 18, Alapag 15, Aguilar 11, Williams 11, Weinstein 9, Fonacier 8, De Ocampo 7, Gamalinda 0, Oreta 0, Alvarez 0.

Quarters: 29-21, 53-42, 76-78, 114-104

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Game James Yap, Explodes to lead B-meg to Rain or Shine

B-MEG made sure that its sizzling start wouldn’t go to waste, holding on to a nail-biting 102-100 win over Rain or Shine for its fifth straight victory in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

source :  

James Yap had a game-high 32 points, including 19 in the first half, and Peter June Simon had the biggest shot in the game, a go-ahead three-pointer with under a minute left in the game. The win put B-MEG in a tie for third spot in the team standing with the Elasto Painters with a 7-4 win-loss mark.

“Two or three weeks ago, I knew we were playing better basketball, but I didn’t think we’ll win five straight,” said B-MEG coach Tim Cone.
“The goal from the very beginning is to build the foundation. No sense of urgency to win right away. We just have to make sure we are all in the same page. There’s no short cut to win, it will only take you long.”
Simon had 16 points, Mark Barroca contributed 14 off the bench, while Josh Urbiztondo and Kerby Raymudo each had 11 for the Llamados, who erected an early 24-3 lead in the game.
Cone’s wards tried to finish off the Painters early as the Llamados delivered a quick knockout blow with that 21-point lead en route to a 30-13 first quarter lead.
But the Elasto Painters kept their composure and outscored B-MEG in the next period, 36-21, to get back in the game and trail by only two points at halftime, 51-49.
It was a see-saw battle in the second half, with Rain or Shine taking a 98-95 lead on Paul Lee’s three-pointer, with 3:25 remaining.
Marc Pingris scored under the basket and Raymundo scored after Lee’s missed three-pointer to give B-MEG a 99-98 edge with 1:46 left.
Beau Belga connected on a long two-pointer, 100-99, and could have given Rain or Shine a bigger lead after stealing the ball in the ensuing possession. But the burly big man missed the fastbreak layup, allowing Simon to make the winning three-pointer with 56.6 seconds left.
JR Quinahan missed on the next play for the Elasto Painter, but Barroca also misfired for B-MEG. With 5.7 seconds remaining, Lee had a chance to steal the win but his three-point attempt at the top of the key was way off the mark as the final buzzer sounded.
It was the second straight heartbreaking loss for Rain or Shine and the team’s third in a row.
Lee led the Elato Painters with 21 points while Ronjay Buenafe added 12, but had crucial turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The scores:

B-MEG 102 – Yap J. 32, Simon 16, Barroca 14, Urbiztondo 11, Raymundo 11, Pingris 10, De Vance 3, Reavis 3, Yap R. 2, De Ocampo 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 100 – Lee 21, Buenafe 12, Matias 10, Rodriguez 9, Arana 9, Tang 8, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Chan 6, Quinahan 6, Cruz 4, Ibanes 1.
Quarterscores: 30-13, 51-49, 79-77, 102-100

Sunday, November 20, 2011

B-Meg Llamados Defeats Ginebra , Rico Maierhofer Debut as a Gin Kings


B-MEG capitalized on Barangay Ginebra’s series of miscues midway in the fourth quarter and took an 86-76 win for its fourth straight victory in the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

James Yap tallied 17 points but was held down to just 2 in the final canto. That was when the rest of the Llamados took over and thwarted the Kings’ uprising.

Rookie Mark Barroca had another solid game off the bench with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, PJ Simon added 12 while Josh Urbiztondo, Marc Pingris and Kerby Raymundo each had 10 for BMEG, which now joined Meralco for fourth spot with 6-4 slate.

“The guys made clutch plays down the stretch and that’s the difference,” said Llamados mentor Tim Cone.

“They (Ginebra) did a good job on double teaming James in the second half and it opened up for everyone,” he added.

After leading at 72-62 on Roger Yap’s lay-up, the Kings unloaded an 8-0 blast to threaten at 70-72 with 5:57 remaining.

But Mike Cortez turned the ball over that resulted in Yap’s basket, 74-70, Pingris followed up a Raymundo’s missed jumper and after Nino Canaleta’s error, Raymundo hit a runner to make it a comfortable 78-70 spread with 2:43 left in the game.


B-MEG was never threatened since then and the Kings absorbed their fifth loss in nine matches.

Helterbrand led Ginebra with 17 points and 7 assists while Enrico Villanueva contributed 13.

JC Intal, Willy Wilson and Cortez each had 10 markers for the Kings.

Rico Maierhofer debuted for Ginebra and scored with only 2 points. Yancy de Ocampo, the player that the Llamados got in the trade, did not score in four minutes.

“We’ve been slowly climbing up the ladder. It’s a slow climb but I’m happy at this stage,” said Cone. “We’re moving upward not downward. Sometimes, you have a quick start then go downward in the end. We’ll rather have a quick start and win it all like Talk ‘N Text did.”

The scores:

B-MEG 88 – J. Yap 17, Barroca 14, Simon 12, Urbiztondo 10, Pingris 10, Raymundo 10, Yap R. 7, De Vance 5, Reavis 3, De Ocampo 0.

GINEBRA 76 – Helterbrand 17, Villanueva 13, Intal 10, Wilson W. 10, Cortez 10, Caguioa 6, Mamaril 4, Canaleta 3, Maierhofer 2, Wilson J. 1, Labagala 0, Tubid 0.

Quarters: 24-19, 44-38, 61-55, 88-76

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Former Bmeg Llamados Player, Rico Maierhofer Expected to Blossom in Ginebra

AKTV/Paolo Papa
With his trade to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, Rico Maierhofer is expected to get the exposure to become one of the league’s best big men.
On Wednesday, the PBA approved a trade that sent B-MEG’s Maierhofer and Barako Bull’s Allein Maliksi to Ginebra. In return, Barako received Jimbo Aquino, a 2013 first round pick, and a 2012 second round pick from Ginebra, while B-MEG received Yancy de Ocampo and a 2012 second round pick from Barako.
Maierhofer’s former coach, Tim Cone, is glad that the athletic former La Salle forward would finally get the minutes he deserves.
“I’m very happy for Rico,” said Cone, who took over the reins of the B-MEG Llamados prior to the season. “The concern was getting him to a place where he would get the playing time to develop.”
Cone said that B-MEG could not provide Maierhofer that opportunity, because he was backing up perennial all-stars.
“With us, he was stuck playing behind [two-time Most Valuable Player] James [Yap] at the three, and [Marc Pingris] at the four,” said Cone. “I’m hoping at Ginebra he can get his playing time up to 30 minutes a game.”
After winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2010, Maierhofer looked poised for a breakout year last season. With B-MEG’s frontline depleted because of injuries to Pingris, Kerby Raymundo, and Rafi Reavis, Maierhofer got a lot of playing time in last year’s Philippine Cup, and he responded by averaging, for the tournament, 9.6 rebounds (5th in the league) and 1.2 blocks (4th) — leading the Llamados in both categories.
But tragedy struck in the last year’s Commissioner’s Cup, when he suffered a torn ACL injury. He has struggled in his return this season, averaging just 2.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in only 11 minutes per game.
Maierhofer figures to get more minutes with Ginebra, which has been looking for a new starting power forward since the departure of Rudy Hatfield last season. Willy Wilson has been playing well at the spot for the Gin Kings, but is considered undersized, while rookie Riel Cervantes is still raw. Wingmen KG Canaleta and JC Intal have played at the spot at times for Ginebra in small-ball alignments.
In trading Maierhofer, the Llamados received veteran center de Ocampo, whom Cone expects to help out in the frontcourt.
“We’re hoping Yancy can be another piece of our puzzle by being a legitimate center in our system, and allowing Rafi and Ping to play more time at their natural position [at power forward].”
Still, Cone said that the primary consideration for the deal was Maierhofer.
“This trade was really about finding the right place for Rico to grow.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

B-meg Derby Ace Llamados Bows to Barako Bulls in Davao

Barako Bulls survived the B-MEG Llamados in a thriliing 87-84 overtime encounter in Panabo City, Davao del Norte for its fourth straight win in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup.

Willie Miller led the way with 18 points and four rebounds for Barako, which clawed back from a 17-0 deficit to open the game. Danny Seigle, making his return to the lineup, teamed up with rookie Dylan Ababou to right the ship in the first half, allowing the Energy to cut the B-MEG lead to 39-37 at the end of the second quarter.

Barako looked poised to win the match outright in regulation after two free throws by Ababou gave the team a 79-76 lead with 7.5 seconds left in the game. But James Yap hit a fadeaway three-pointer from 27 feet over the outstretched arms of Danny Seigle to tie the score, 79-all, with 1.8 seconds left. Miller’s desperation shot in the ensuing play hit iron, sending the game into overtime.

The two teams continued to battle in the extra period, before a Wynne Arboleda jumper over Josh Urbiztondo broke the last deadlock at 84-all with less than a minute left in the game.

B-MEG came up empty in the next two possessions and were forced to send Jondan Salvador to the free throw line with 8.8 seconds left. Salvador, who was originally drafted by the Purefoods franchise in 2005, missed both free throws, giving the Llamados another opportunity.

But Kerby Raymundo threw away a pass intended for James Yap in the next possession, and B-MEG once again fouled Salvador to stop the clock. The burly Barako big man split his free throws to give his team a three-point lead with a second left. In its last play, B-MEG again went to Yap, who was well-covered by Barako. The Llamados’ top gun ended up missing a corner three-pointer at the buzzer.

With the victory, Barako improved its win-loss record to 4-1, joining Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text atop the Philippine Cup standings. B-MEG’s record fell to 2-4 under coach Tim Cone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Can James Yap and the B-meg Llamados Stop the Barako Bull Charge

After winning three straight games, Barako Bull is now the hottest team in the league. A win over the B-MEG Llamados will give the Energy a share of the lead in the ongoing Philippine Cup, alongside Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text.

But B-MEG isn’t exactly easy pickings for Barako. Coming off a quality win against the Powerade Tigers on Wednesday, the Llamados are finally starting to look like the favorites they were pegged to be when Tim Cone took over in the offseason.

But is that enough for James Yap and the  B-MEG to stop the streaking Barako?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

B-MEG shuts down David to hand Powerade 2nd straight loss

B-MEG clamped down on Powerade’s main man Gary David and weathered a late rally in the fourth quarter to hack out a 97-80 win Wednesday in the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Llamados’ defense limited David to just seven points, 15 fewer than his league-leading average, to snatch their second win in five games and tie their victims with a 2-3 win-loss mark.

Peter June Simon shone on both ends of the court as he helped in containing the Tigers’ top gunner while tallying a game-high 21 points. James Yap added 20 points for B-MEG.

Mark Barroca and Joe Devance contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Llamados, who led by as much as 29 points before Powerade, behind its full-court trap, were able to cut it the lead to as few as nine points.

“We hope this is not our best performance yet. But I am pleased with our defense especially on Gary. PJ (Simon) did a great job and also our guards. They did a good job committing defensively tonight,” said B-MEG coach Tim Cone.

“Josh (Urbiztondo) and Mark (Barroca) came out pressuring and that set the tone for us.”

The Llamados came out blazing and erected an early 24-9 lead, carried a 46-25 halftime lead, and scored the first eight points of the third period for their biggest lead at 54-25 with 8:55 remaining in the quarter.

They were still in full control of the game entering the fourth quarter with a 68-48 spread, before the Tigers threw a full-court press that resulted to a 17-6 exchange to cut the deficit to 65-74 on Marcio Lassiter’s lay-up, with still 7:08 remaining in the game.

But Urbiztondo and Simon hit back-to-back treys that sparked a 14-2 run to push the lead back to 88-67 with 3:17 remaining.

B-MEG was never threatened since and handed Powerade its second straight loss.

Lassiter had a team-high 15 points and added 5 steals while Sean Anthony chipped in 13 points for the Tigers.

The scores:

B-MEG 97 – Simon 21, Yap J. 20, Barroca 11, De Vance 10, Urbiztondo 9, Raymundo 7, Pingris 6, Yap R. 6, Reavis 5, Maierhofer 2, Acuna 0.

POWERADE 80 – Lassiter 15, Anthony 13, Kramer 8, Cruz 8, Lingganay 7, Vanlandingham 7, David 7, Adducul 7, Casio 5, Antonio 3, Calimag 0, Crisano 0.

Quarterscores: 24-9, 46-25, 68-48, 97-80

Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Heartbreaking Loss for the LLamados, Bmeg Bows to Talk ad Text

Though still crippled, Talk n Text sprang back from a loss the last time out, getting a big lift from Jared Dillinger in repulsing B-Meg, 96-94, Friday in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Dillinger poured in a career-best 31 points and also got six rebounds and four assists, stepping up in the absence of Jayson Castro and Harvey Carey as the Texters got back on the winning track and gained a piece of second place with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Barako Bull Energy at 3-1.
The Llamados, on the other hand, slid to 1-3.

Kelly Williams made his season debut and had a hand helping the Texters rebound from an 86-100 loss to the Energy Wednesday.

“We’re all aware of our situation; we knew we had to make extra effort,” said Dillinger.

Williams rejoined the team but the Texters remained short-handed with Ranidel de Ocampo still out, and Castro and Carey joining him in the sideline after getting injured in their game versus Barako.

Compounding Talk n Text’s woes was Jimmy Alapag suffering an ankle sprain in the second quarter.

“Worry talaga ako kung tatagal kami sa game na ito with our team badly depleted. Fatigue did set in, and we just dug in, sucked it up, continued to play defense and found a way to win in the end,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.

“You’ll really get tired with our pace. Then B-Meg started to make their shots which was really expected from a good team like them,” Reyes added.

The Texters led by as many as 16 in the first quarter but went through anxious moment, facing a determined B-Meg charge at the finish.
The Llamados just refused to give up till the final buzzer.
They caught up at 81-all with 6:17 left to play, moved ahead at 85-83 and never surrendered even as the Texters regained control at 95-90 with time down to 29.8 seconds.

The Texters eventually pulled through as Aaron Abad tapped the ball away after Ryan Reyes missed the rear-end of two free throws with TnT ahead by only two, 96-94, with 2.6 seconds left to play. Curiously, the ball landed in the hands of Dillinger, the Texters’ main man in the game, knocking in five three-pointers, four twinners and eight charities.

Williams, back with TnT after reinforcing Smart Gilas Pilipinas in the recently held Fiba Asia Championship, added 23 points, six rebounds and one block against two turnovers.
Ali Peek shared 13 points and 12 rebounds while Larry Fonacier and Reyes contributed at least 11 points each.

Kerby Raymundo picked up his game in the second half and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Llamados.

He joined forces with Josh Urbiztondo and Marc Pingris to get B-Meg back into the fight in the payoff period. James Yap made 14 points but visibly got tired playing 40 minutes.

He committed a passing error, missed a shot and committed a foul in the homestretch.
In the same span of time, Peek scored on a short stab then Dillinger converted a drive and a free throw as TnT went up 95-90 with time down to 29.8 seconds. (SB)

The scores:

Talk 'N Text 96 -- Dillinger 31, Williams 23, Peek 13, Fonacier 12, Reyes 11, Aban 4, Aguilar 2, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0, Alapag 0.

B-Meg 94 -- Raymundo 18, J. Yap 14, Simon 13, Urbiztondo 11, Pingris 11, Devance 10, Barroca 8, Reavis 7, R. Yap 2, Acuna 0, Ferriols 0.

Quarterscores: 32-19, 49-37, 74-66, 96-94

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Meralco won Over Bmeg Derby Ace Llamados

Meralco continued to play well though crippled by injuries, scoring a second straight win in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup with an 84-78 upset of B-Meg Saturday night at The Arena in San Juan.

The Bolts again put up a solid defensive job together and banked on Chico Lanete, Mark Isip, Mark Borboran and Asi Tauvala for the offensive firepower in chalking up a follow-up to their initial victory over the Clickers Wednesday.

Lanete and Isip kept Meralco afloat with their torrid shooting in the first 40 minutes then Taulava and Borboran took over to deliver important baskets at the finish.
Lanete sizzled with 24 points, nine assists and three steals while Isip shone with 18 before Taulava and Borboran stepped in to fend off the Llamados’ endgame chase.

Meralco caught up with Rain or Shine at third place with its second win after a losing debut versus Talk n Text. B-Meg, meanwhile, slid to joint seventh with Barangay Ginebra as it absorbed a second loss in three starts. For Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, it’s his second win in six matches with his former team. The Llamados had come to within one, 76-77, after falling behind by 12, 63-75, when Taulava and Borboran teamed up to bail their team out of imminent danger.

Taulava twice scored off Kerby Raymundo while Borboran scored on a layup after grabbing a loose ball as Meralco established a six-point cushion at 82-78 with time down to 1:32.

The Llamados failed to recover anymore with Mark Barroca and James Yap missing critical attempts in the face of Meralco’s rock-solid defense.

Lanete stepped up big time early on, drilling in two triples and a charity as Meralco opened a 12-point spread at 75-63 with 8:41 left to play.

Earlier, Laneta and Isip fired 12 points each and Borboran added eight as the Bolts took the half at 45-41.

Both teams shot in the high 50s (field goal percentage) in the first half capped by Lanete with booming three-pointer. “I just did my job. We all know that we have to step up while playing without Mac Cardona, Sol Mercado and Chris Ross,” said Lanete. (SB)

The scores: Meralco 84 – Lanete 24, Isip 18, Borboran 10, Taulava 8, Espinas 8, Yee 5, Omolon 5, Timberlake 4, Macapagal 2, Ballesteros 0.

B-Meg 78 – Yap J. 19, Raymundo 15, Devance 9, Reavis 8, Simon 7, Yap R. 5, Barroca 5, Pingris 4, Ferriols 4, Maierhofer 2, Urbiztondo 0.

Quarterscores: 17-15, 45-41, 68-60, 84-78


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Coach Tim Cone and The Llamados First Win Over Alaska

Coach Tim Cone earned his first win outside the Alaska Milk organization at the expense of Alaska Milk itself. Cone prevailed over his former team in their first meeting after their parting with the B-Meg Llamados coming from behind to beat the Aces, 81-75, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

 “Nag-usap kaming mga players. Alam namin na gustong-gustong nilang talunin si coach Tim. Ayaw namin mapahiya ang coach namin,” said B-Meg top gun James Yap

The whole B-Meg organization and the Llamados’ fans rallied behind Cone, showing up wearing necktie to best demonstrate their support to their new coach. Cone tried hard to take it just as another game but admitted feeling tremendous pressure

. “I felt it and I didn’t want to put that on the players,” said Cone, approaching the Alaska bench to hug coach Joel Banal and team manager Joaqui Trillo before the game. After the game, Cone again approached his former team then finally let out a big sigh in what he called “a tough day.” Yap, Josh Urbiztondo and Kerby Raymundo had a big part making Cone’s day. 

Yap led all scorers with 20 points while Urbiztondo and Raymundo delivered at crunch time. “What I like the most about this team is that they’re veterans. They don’t panic. They’re calm and collected,” said Cone of the Llamados who scored their first win in the season after losing their first game versus the Petron Blaze Boosters, 69-73. The Aces, meanwhile, reeled to a second straight loss.

 The Llamados fought back from an early 15-point deficit and beat out the Aces at endgame on crucial baskets by Urbiztondo and Raymundo. Urbiztondo banged away three straight treys that opened up a 75-68 lead for the Llamados entering the last three minutes of play. Then the Aces were waging an endgame upheaval when Raymundo drove off Sonny Thoss for a key twinner making it 79-75 for B-Meg with time down to 20 seconds. The Aces eventually yielded the game with LA Tenorio misfiring a three-point attempt in the ensuing play. 
Alaska came out with its guns ablaze, taking the first quarter at 21-9 then having its 15-point spread at 24-9. B-Meg came alive in the second quarter with Yap firing 10 points and team rallying to within to, 35-37, at the half. (SB) 

The scores:

 B-Meg 81 – Yap J. 20, Urbiztondo 12, Raymundo 12, Simon 11, De vance 10, Reavis 8, Pingris 6, Ferriols 2, Barroca 0, Acuna 0, Maierhofer 0, Yap R. 0.

 Alaska 75 – Thoss 18, Reyes 15, Tenorio 11, Baguio 10, Dela Cruz 9, Baracael 4, Custodio 4, Eman 3, Bugia 1, Cablay 0. Quarterscores: 9-21, 35-37, 61-56, 81-75

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tim Cone Debut as Bmeg Derby Ace Llamados Head Coach

Tim Cone coaches a PBA team not named Alaska for the first time in 22 years as the reinvigorated B-MEG squad opens its Philippine Cup campaign against a tough Petron side at the Astrodome.

The Llamados—already overflowing with talent following the return of big men Kerby Raymundo, Rico Maierhofer and Rafi Reavies and the acquisition of Smart Gilas-Pilipinas point guard Mark Barroca—have become even more lethal following their off-season acquisition of Cone from the Aces.

Cone, the coach with the most number of won games in the league, brings with him 13 championships including a Grand Slam in 1996, to a team that is also known for its winning tradition with eight titles tucked under its belt.

The return of the Llamados' three injured big men surely complements a frontline that is already fearsome enough with the presence of Joe Devance and Marc Pingris.

B-MEG's backcourt is just as potent behind the rotation of two-time MVP James Yap, Peter June Simon and Roger Yap.

Cone, however, sees his hands full against the Boosters in their 7:30 p.m. encounter.

Petron, still fresh from their upset of Talk 'N Text in the Governors Cup Finals that denied the Tropang Texters a rarr Grand Slam, have also boosted their roster by acquiring Filipino-American guard Chris Lutz from the PBA Annual Rookie Draft as the third overall pick and getting back veteran Dondon Hontiveros from Barako Bull (formerly Air21).

The team could have also obtained forward Mark Borboran after Alaska left him out of its roster, but was beaten to the draw by Meralco when the Bolts offered two second round picks for 2013 and 2014, respectively, to the Aces in exchange for the former University of the East stalwart.

League commissioner Chito Salud has already approved the trade and Meralco can formally acquire the soft-spoken player once it matched the P11.1 million, three-year deal Petron offered Borboran.

"I'm very curious to see how we stack up against them (Blaze Boosters) this early," said Cone. "Petron will have great confidence coming off their championship, so they will be formidable."

But Petron will continue to miss the services of injured players Jay Washington, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Lordy Tugade.

Powerade and will also be making their respective debuts when they clash in the 5:15 p.m. opener.

Franz Pumaran will be making his pro debut as coach of the Clickers, but all eyes are expected to be on the Tigers, who will miss the services of top rookie pick Jvee Casio.

Powerade will be parading fourth pick and former national team member Marcio Lassiter.

A stressed left knee sidelines Casio from playing his first PBA game and while his condition is day-to-day, coach Bo Perasol said the spitfire guard may not suit up for the team until the next three weeks.

The Tigers, nonetheless, still opens their campaign with high hopes as it also added to its lineup veteran big men Romel Adducul Alex Crisano and Doug Kramer.

"We are determined to change our fortune this time," said Perasol. "It's going to take some time to achieve cohesion with all our new acquisitions but we are going to take the right steps towards our goal." — JVP, GMA News

Bmeg vs Petron

Petron Blaze and B-Meg, among teams looking to have a lot to offer in the new season, take on each other to start their campaigns in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome Wednesday.

The Boosters are riding the momentum of their Governors Cup triumph while the Llamados are setting out inspired and motivated by the return of a number of key stalwarts plus the arrival of new coach Tim Cone.

They play at 7:30 p.m. with both eager to get to a good start in the season.

“We’re expecting a great rivalry with Petron and Ginebra this conference and it’s going to start in this first game,” said Cone.

“Petron will have great confidence coming off their championship, so they will be very formidable. I’m very curious to see how we stack up to them this early,” Cone added.

For Petron, a little setback was a deal with Mark Borboran that didn’t push through.

Coach Ato Agustin, however, insists they will make do with what they have got.

Borboran will have to wait awhile for which team to play with.

Commissioner Chito Salud has approved the trade deal sending the signing rights for Borboran to Meralco in exchange for the Bolts’ second round picks in 2013 and 2014. Meralco has five days to match the playing contract Petron offered Borboran.

Meantime, Petron plays with only an 11-man lineup minus Borboran and injured players Jay Washington and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.

The Boosters may well face a tough challenge against Llamados who are optimistic of a bright future with their health woes over.

The return of Kerby Raymundo, Rico Maierhofer and Rafi Reavis has given Cone a lineup that can well match up with any team.

“We can’t be modest because we really have a strong lineup. The Llamados are llamado this season,” said B-MEG governor Rene Pardo.

“The guys have yet to fully adapt to coach Tim’s triangle offense. But even if it bogs down, I think talent alone can bring us to the championship,” Pardo added.

Of course, Petron can’t be underestimated with what it has shown in the last tourney.

The Boosters’ roster has its improvement on the return of Dondon Hontiveros and the addition of Gilas mainstay Chris Lutz.

Carlo Sharma, acquired in exchange for Mick Pennisi, is said to be doing well in practice. (SB)


Monday, October 3, 2011

Can B-meg Be Favorites Once More with Tim Cone

Coach: Tim Cone

Assistants: Koy Banal, Richard del Rosario, Jeffrey Cariaso, Johnny Abarrientos, Dayong Mendoza
Lineup: Jonas Villanueva, Rico Maierhofer, Josh Urbiztondo, Mark Barroca, Rafi Reavis, Peter June Simon, Roger Yap, Marc Pingris, James Yap, Jerwin Gaco, Kerby Raymundo, Joe Devance, John Ferriols, Val Acuna

“This is a team that has a lot of talented players. I would love to see James Yap, Kerby Raymundo, PJ Simon and a young Mark Barroca running and fitting into the triangle,” said Cone.

Offseason Review: Beginning this season, basketball fans should get used to seeing Tim Cone calling the shots and running the fabled triangle offense for the Llamados.

Apart from rookie Barroca, the fifth overall pick, only former Alaska forward John Ferriols is new to the B-MEG lineup. Ferriols was brought along by Cone to help get the other players familiar with the system.

But several players are making a comeback after missing parts of last season due to injury. Kerby Raymundo, Rico Maierhofer, and Rafi Reavis may not yet be 100 percent yet to start the season, but should be healthy enough to contribute when the action heats up in the Philippine Cup.

Outlook: Right before Tim Cone announced his transfer to take over B-MEG, a head coach of an elite PBA team said that with the American coach at the helm, the franchise would be a powerhouse.

“Tim Cone sa B-MEG? Ang lakas nun,” said the coach.

Tim Cone himsel wasn’t bashful when asked about his immediate goal for his new team: “We want to be the crown jewel of the San Miguel Corporation franchise.”

“We don’t want to be buddy-buddies with Petron or Ginebra. We want to beat Petron and Ginebra. Before we can compete with everyone else, we want to be the best SMC team.”

The swagger was surprising for the usually diplomatic coach, but it seems to have rubbed off on his squad. Team manager Alvin Patrimonio said that morale is very high with the entry of Cone, and that the team is dreaming big dreams.

B-MEG is a talented, veteran-laden team with a core that has won two Philippine Cup titles. Interestingly, the team has made it to the finals of the Philippine Cup in every even year since 2006; the Purefoods franchise won the title in 2006 and 2010 while finishing second to Sta. Lucia in 2008. Can B-MEG do it again in 2012?

Cone certainly has his eyes on the prize.

“We want to break Crispa’s all-Filipino record,” he said. The two teams are tied for the most all-Filipino titles in PBA history at five.

Still, questions remain: How will B-MEG, traditionally a team that has relied on isolation plays for stars like James Yap, Raymundo, and Peter June Simon adjust to Cone’s equal-opportunity offense? How will Cone’s in-your-face personality mesh with the Llamados’ core that has thrived under a players’ coach such as Ryan Gregorio? And will the team buy into the new coach’s defensive system, which has been the secret of Cone’s success all these years?

And then there is the matter of injuries. Will the players be healthy enough for the long haul?

But for board governor Rene Pardo, there’s no reason for the team to fail this time.

“Definitely, this team will be a Llamado this season,” said Pardo.