“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)
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