B-Meg coach Tim Cone and his troops were convinced they would take a special effort to make it
two-zero versus Barangay Ginebra.

But put a heckuva job the Llamados did, overcoming the Kings’ tough stand to move within a win of
the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

B-Meg wore down Ginebra in a battle with PJ Simon taking over offensively at the finish as the
Llamados drubbed the Kings, 83-77, to the disappointment of the huge cheering Ginebra crowd in the

“It takes a special effort to go 2-0 against a team like Ginebra. You need calmness, living
through mistakes, living through bad calls and moving forward. We’re able to do that,” said
Cone, now on the threshold of his first final outside of Alaska.

Cone and his Llamados can wrap it up in Game Three Sunday. Game Four, if necessary, is Tuesday. Game
Five, also if necessary, is Thursday.

But for the record, 36 of 39 teams that enjoyed a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series pulled through.

Cone said it would take them a lot more special effort to sweep the Kings, even in the continuous
absence of Mark Caguioa.

“It’s human nature that if one gets up 2-0, it slows down a bit. We’ll do what we can. We’ll
go for that obviously,” said Cone, chasing a 24th final appearance.

The Llamados, meanwhile, are after a 22nd finale, ninth in an import-flavored conference.

The youthful Denzel Bowles once again outfoxed Jackson Vroman and the B-Meg locals stood their
ground against their Ginebra counterparts as they came through with a follow-up on their 82-67 win
in Game One.

Caguioa, nursing a fractured cheekbone, showed up in uniform but didn’t play.

Simon tossed in eight of his 15 points in the last two minutes and the Llamados squeezed through
from a tight duel, pushing the Kings on the brink of elimination.

The count was tied at 75 before the Llamados capitalized on crucial errors by a Ginebra team
obviously reeling from fatigue.

Vroman valiantly fought through cramps in vain.

Nino Canaleta played big coming off the bench but he himself lost steam at endgame.

The Kings scored only two points in the last three minutes, running in a maze of errors and missed

Simon parlayed into a breakaway layup a turnover by Mike Cortez to break the 75-all count. Then
after Canaleta misfired a three-pointer, Simon canned two charities as the Llamados put more
pressure on the Kings.

Jayjay Helterbrand got away with a reversed four-point play in the last four seconds as Ginebra took
the half at 41-37.

The two teams engaged in a defensive battle in the first half limiting one another to 27 points each
through the first 17 minutes.

The Kings picked up their offense towards the end of the first half through second-string forwards
Canaleta and Rudy Hatfield.

Bowles, meanwhile, carried the cudgels for the Llamados piling up 12 points, nine rebounds, two
assists and two blocks in the first two quarters as against Vroman’s six markers and six boards.

The scores:

B-MEG 83 – Bowles 21, Yap 16, Simon 15, Urbiztondo 12, Pingris 12, Intal 3, Devance 2, Reavis 2,
Barroca 0, Burtscher 0, Villanueva 0, De Ocampo 0.

GINEBRA 77 – Canaleta 19, Cortez 17, Vroman 10, Helterbrand 8, Hatfield 8, Ababou 6, Raymundo 5,
Wilson J. 3, Wilson W. 1, Labagala 0, Mamaril 0.

Quarters: 23-19, 37-41, 63-59, 83-77

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