MANILA, Philippines – After playing catch-up in the first quarter, B-Meg Derby Ace steamrolled Barangay Ginebra in the next three periods to clinch the first ticket to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals on Tuesday.
Denzel Bowles helped the Llamados conclude the semis series with a 108-84 drubbing of the Gin Kings in Game 4 of their best-of-5 showdown.
As her mother watched in the audience, Bowles exploded with 34 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field.
“It was enjoying for her to come out here and I was able to get her to some here and watch me play live. There's nothing better than watching your son play live,” said the B-Meg import, who also collected a total of 14 rebounds.
Llamados coach Tim Cone is thankful that his team made some adjustments after struggling in the first quarter.
B-Meg was 7 points down in that period, 31-24.
“I made a bad decision in the beginning of the game to go to zone. We thought we catch them by surprise then they came out and hit all those shots. I was kind of embarrassed because that's our big game plan and it fell on our faces,” said Cone.
“Good thing we have a good group of guys and they came back, later in the game,” he added.
It will be Cone’s 24th appearance in a PBA finals and his first under B-Meg.
The multi-titled coach said the game went to their favor when they began picking up their pace.
“We tried to up tempo the game little bit today, get the ball up quickly, move it up the floor faster pressure, so they couldn't pressure us much, I think that was the key,” said Cone.
“Then Denzel really came up and played a monster game, what can I say? He played a monster effort game.”
The Llamados started establishing their dominance in the second and third quarter, where they led as much as 15 points.
By the time they entered the fourth, the Gin Kings virtually surrendered the game.
Their top scorer in the game, Dylan Ababou, fouled out with over 11 minutes left.
Before being sent to the bench, Ababou scored 17 points.
Ginebra import Jackson Vroman followed later, fouling out with 5:56 left.
Vroman scored 14 points. Mike Cortez and Niño Canaleta added 13 and 12, respectively for the Gin Kings.
Joe Devance and James Yap were more generous in their contributions to B-Meg.
Devance had 18 points, while Yap finished with 16.
B-Meg will face the winner of the semifinals between reigning champion Talk N’ Text and giant slayer Barako Bull.
The Texters and the Energy are in a 2-2 deadlock in their own best-of-5.
Talk N’ Text and Barako Bull will settle their score in Game 5 on Wednesday.
B-Meg 108 - Bowles 34, Devance 18, Yap 16, Simon 11, Pingris 7, Barroca 5, Intal 5, Villanueva 5, De Ocampo 4, Reavis 2, Urbiztondo 1, Acuna 0, Gaco 0.
Ginebra 84 - Ababou 17, Vroman 14, Cortez 13, Canaleta 12, Helterbrand 10, Hatfield 8, Raymundo 5, Labagala 3, Mamaril 2, Wilson 0, Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 24-31, 58-46, 86-71, 108-84