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.