This appears in inthezone.com.ph
B-Meg finds enough daylight to squeak past Rain or Shine
by rick olivares pic by brosi gonzales
November 25, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum
The B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados quickly placed Rain or Shine in a 21-point hole in the first quarter, saw the Elasto Painters launch a massive rally that saw them take a lead, watch their foe temporarily lose their composure with a spate of technical fouls before bungling a potential game winning basket.
“I hope we don’t get any more games like this,” quipped a relieved B-Meg head coach Tim Cone outside Gateway Mall after the match. “As you get older, this is not good,” he concluded with a laugh.
But no one is laughing now that the Llamados are getting their groove back. That it came against the hungry and up-and-coming Rain or Shine squad with a pulsating 102-100 win and now Cone’s boys have a five game win streak.
After the Llamados took a 30-13 first quarter lead, Rain or Shine came back in the second period behind Larry Rodriguez and Ronjay Buenafe to come within a basket, 49-51. Both teams traded leads for the entire second half and with players from either side hitting big shot after big shot, stop after stop, error after bonehead error, the game’s outcome was going down to a final basket.
Following a 95-all stand-off, Paul Lee, making a case that he should have been drafted first over-all, fired from beyond the rainbow arc to give ROS a 98-95 lead with 3:26 left. It was a huge shot but after stopping B-Meg, Lee had another opportunity to hammer down a nail of their foe’s coffin but the Elasto Painters’ pistolero missed a trey attempt.
B-Meg forward Marc Pingris scored on an undergoal stab to bring his side to a point away. Both squads alternated with missed shots and turnovers before ROS’ Beau Belga hit a long jumper to give his side a 100-99 lead. Peter June Simon drilled a triple from the left corner off a pass by Mark Barroca with 56 seconds left in the game that gave B-Meg a 102-100 lead.
And just like that, B-Meg held on for a lead and the win.
A happy Tim Cone seemed incredulous at his team’s showing. “First quarter leads are always artificial,” said the first year mentor for the Llamados. “They (ROS) increased the pressure on us and we buckled there. We came out in the second quarter thinking we’d shoot the same but it didn’t happen. We’re lucky to escape with a win. PJ hit a big shot from the corner. It’s one of those games where every shot counted. Their players revere their coach and they are tough guys and that makes them a tough opponent.”
Cone expounded on his team’s showing under him while trying to master the triangle offense. “We did not have sense of urgency to win right away as we wanted to build a foundation, establish roles, and all be on same page. If you take a shortcut, it takes a lot longer. We didn’t shortcut and we paid for it early but we hung together.”
James Yap scored a game high 32 points including eight in the third quarter where the Llamados managed to stay afloat, 79-77.
Paul Lee led Rain or Shine with 21 points.
B-Meg 102 – Yap James 32, Simon 16, Barroca 14, Urbiztondo 11, Raymundo 11, Pingris 10, Devance 3, Reavis 3, Yap Roger 2, De Ocampo 0.
Rain or Shine 100 – Lee 21, Buenafe 12, Matias 10, Rodriguez 9, Araña 9, Tang 8, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Chan 6, Quiñahan 6, Cruz 4, Ibañes 1.