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.