B-Meg turned to its vaunted defense after the departure of their import to down Alaska Milk, 77-61, on Wednesday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Marqus Blakely suffered a concussion in the third quarter after being hit by Sonny Thoss’ elbow and never returned. The import was also coming off a bout with food poisoning on Tuesday.
He still led the Llamados with 13 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals, and two blocks.
JC Intal and PJ Simon also had 13 points apiece for the Llamados, whose stifling defense saved them in the low-scoring affair.
“We played some really great defense,” B-Meg mentor Tim Cone said. “It was probably the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”
The score was tied at 38 at halftime, but the Llamados pulled away in the third quarter by outscoring the Aces, 22-8.
Ever-dependable big men Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis anchored the Llamados’ defense, which held the Aces to a mark that tied their franchise low.
“We were able to get through Marqus’ ailments in the second half,” said Cone, who is now 4-0 against his former team this season.
Pingris grabbed 13 boards in 42 minutes on the court while Reavis added 10 caroms.
Blakely even insisted on playing in the fourth, but Cone wouldn’t allow it.
“You don’t want to mess around with a concussion,” he said.
As the first team to reach five wins in this short conference, the Llamados are one win away from securing a spot in the next round.
“Whether you’re in semis or not, we just gotta keep winning,” Cone said.
The Aces, led by Jason Forte’s 24 points and 20 rebounds, dropped to last place with a 1-5 slate.
B-Meg 77 – Blakely 13, Intal 13, Simon 13, Urbiztondo 8, Yap 8, Pingris 7, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 5, Barroca 4, Acuna 0, Gaco 0, Burtscher 0, Bono 0, Villanueva 0
Alaska 61 – Forte 24, Tenorio 17, Thoss 10, Baguio 5, Baracael 2, Cablay 2, Espinas 1, Jazul 0, Custodio 0, Eman 0, Gonzales 0, Dela Cruz 0
Quarterscores: 20-24, 38-38, 60-46, 77-61.