MANILA, Philippines – The B-Meg Llamados gun for a sweep of the Barangay Ginebra Kings Sunday night in Game 3 of their best-of-five semi-finals series in the PBA Commissioners’ Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Llamados won the series opener, 82-67, and then repeated their victory in Game 2, 83-77.
But B-Meg coach Tim Cone remains wary of the perennial crowd favorite and reminded his players of Ginebra’s “never say die” spirit.
"Do I think it's over? Are you kidding me?" Cone said in an interview with PBA.ph. "It takes a special effort to get up 2-0. To get up 3-0 is special effort, times two."
The Gin Kings are playing without injured scoring leader Mark Caguioa, who is out with a fractured orbital eye socket.
Making matters worse, Ginebra import Jackson Vroman has not been playing up to his standards. In their Game 2 loss, Vroman finished with 8 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocks. He only scored two points in the second half and was reluctant to take over down the stretch.
Niño Canaleta (19 points) and Mike Cortez (17 points) led the Gin Kings, but it was not enough to counter B-Meg’s onslaught.
The Llamados' import, Denzel Bowles, had another strong game with 21 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Two-time PBA Most Valuable Player James Yap scored 16 points to break out of a scoring slump, while PJ Simon added 15 points.
Despite being favored in the game, Cone fully expects Ginebra to come out swinging in an effort to extend the series.
"Barangay Ginebra has toughened up and they come up strong when they get behind," he said.
The winner of the B-Meg-Ginebra series will face the winner of the Talk 'N Text-Barako Bull series. Barako leads TNT two games to one.