MANILA, Philippines – B-Meg Derby Ace leaned on import Tony Wahsam to stay alive against defending champion San Miguel Beermen for an 88-82 win in Game 5 of their PBA Fiesta Conference semifinal series Friday at the Big Dome.
According to a report on PBA.ph, Washam scored 14 of his game-high 28 points in the final quarter to save the Llamados from an impending defeat to the Beermen.
San Miguel still leads the series 3-2. B-Meg coach Ryan Gregorio said he hopes they can duplicate the feat they achieved in 2006 while the team was carrying the name Purefoods.
That team trailed Alaska 3-1 in the 2006 Philippine Cup semis but came back strong to win the remaining 3 games to make it to the finals. That team eventually claimed the title by defeating Red Bull in the championship.
“The core of that 2006 team is still actively playing. But we’re not here to re-write history. We just want to play another game and stay alive,” Gregorio said.
In Game 5 against San Miguel, Washam received support from Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis, who scored 17 and 16, respectively. The three had to step up for James Yap’s scoring slump.
Yap finished with only 7 points – a conference low for the former Most Valuable Player.
San Miguel’s Gabe Freeman churned in 18 points and grabbed a season-high-tying 25 rebounds. Joseph Yeo, Arwind Santos and Jay Washington added 14 points apiece for SMB.
B-Meg and San Miguel will again play on Sunday’s Game 6 at the Araneta Coliseum.
TNT makes it 3-2 vs Alaska
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text pulled off an 82-81 finish against the Alaska Aces to grab the lead in their own best-of7 semifinals series.
“It boiled down to heart and guts. I have to give it to the players. Alaska made a run couples of times but we didn’t go away,” said Tropang Texters coach Chot Reyes in PBA.ph.
Reyes said they dedicated the win to one of their biggest fans.
“We lost a huge fan in the mother of our boss Mr. Ricky Vargas. Before the game, we talked about honoring Mrs. Vargas. We didn’t really play well but we played hard in her honor,” he said.
Jason Castro tallied 18 points, 2 assists and a rebound while Jimmy Alapag, Ranidel de Ocampo and Kelly Williams added at least 10 points each.