MANILA, Philippines – Marqus Blakely filled up the stat-sheet anew but it’s his defense that pushed B-Meg past Meralco, 88-83, Wednesday in the 2012 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Blakely anchored the Llamados’ defense with two key stops down the stretch apart from his usual all-around performance of 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
“I thought I just want to guard the best player,” said the versatile Blakely.
Mark Cardona came alive with 27 points after a forgettable two-point output in his previous outing and did his own damage when the Bolts needed him most.
Cardona, the crafty swingman, fired 11 straight points for Meralco to put his team ahead, 83-81, with 2:35 left.
With James Yap struggling to keep in step with Cardona, Blakely took on the challenge.
Blakely hounded Cardona in the ensuing play and forced a crucial error that eventually led to two free throws by Marc Pingris to give the lead back to the Llamados for good, 85-83.
Yap added 19 points while Pingris finished with 10, including a couple more freebies that sealed the game.
Reynel Hugnatan had the chance to tie the game at 85 but his shot got blocked by Blakely.
Champ Oguchi, who is set to be replaced, continued to dip in performance with just 12 points as he missed all of his attempts from deep.
B-Meg notched its third straight win for a 3-1 card