MANILA, Philippines - Josh Urbiztondo made one crucial defensive stop and nailed two charities at endgame as B-Meg overcame Powerade's never-say-die stand, eking out a 96-94 win that boosted the Llamados' bid for an outright semifinal entry in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
James Yap also gave a lift as he got his bearing in the final half, helping the Llamados close out their elimination-round with six wins against three losses.
B-Meg gains automatic semis passage with a loss by Barangay Ginebra or Talk n Text.
Powerade ended up at 4-5, thus finding its playoff bid in the balance.
The Tigers had a chance to salvage last night's crucial game but Gary David missed crucial free throws, negating his 13th straight 20-point game.
The Philippine Cup MVP tossed in 25 points and became the 64th player to join the league's 5,000-point club.
"I'm more exhausted than David. They did really a good job on moving you down. They're young, leaving us with our tongue hanging out there," said B-Meg coach Tim Cone after eventually surviving the struggle.
The Llamados needed crucial hustle plays at the finish to fend off the Tigers for the win assuring them of at least a playoff crack at the second outright semis seat.
Finding his range in the third quarter, Yap fuelled a key run allowing the Llamados to seize control at 73-59.
The two-time MVP awardee came through with three triples and a twinner in the third period after missing all his first eight field-goal tries in the game.
He scored on a twisting layup for his first basket already 27 minutes into the game. He followed it up with back-to-back treys as B-Meg made it a double-digit spread at 64-54.
B-Meg used aggressiveness on board work to neutralize Powerade’s high-percentage shooting as the Llamados barely took the half at 46-43.
The Llamados outrebounded the Tigers, 26-16, and had more second chance points, 10-2, in the first 24 minutes of play.
Imposing his inside presence, Denzel Bowles had tallied 16 points and eight rebounds by the half.
Barangay Ginebra started the final half with a flurry and coasted to a 91-81 win over Barako Bull as the Kings clinched the fourth berth in the post-elim plays later in the night.
With a fifth win against three losses, the Kings also stayed in the running for an outright semis berth.
B-Meg 96 – Bowles 29, Urbiztondo 15, Yap 15, Pingris 12, Simon 7, Intal 6, Reavis 4, De Ocampo 4, Barroca 2, Villanueva 2.
Powerade 94 – David 25, Lassiter 17, Jones 11, Anthony 11, Kramer 9, Casio 8, Antonio 5, Lingganay 3, Allera 2, Cruz 2, Adducul 1, Vanlandingham 0.
Quarterscores: 24-21, 46-43, 73-63, 96-94
Ginebra 91 – Caguioa 25, Vroman 19, Cortez 12, Hatfield 10, Ababou 7, Wilson W. 6, Raymundo 6, Villanueva 4, Wilson J. 2, Labagala 0.
Barako 81 – White 19, Miller 11, Seigle 11, Najorda 10, Tubid 8, Allado 8, Weinstein 5, Arboleda 5, Aquino 2, Peña 2, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 44-41, 70-55, 91-81