B-MEG and Talk `N Text shaped history Saturday night when they became the first two PBA teams ever to play at the newly-built Mall of Asia Arena.
The Llamados made things more significant by winning the game itself.
Getting a monster game from import Marcus Blakely, B-Meg survived the loss of star player James Yap to escape past Talk `N Text, 94-91, nad kicked off its PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals campaign on a high note.
“Ten, fifteen years from now people will remember that we were the team that played here and won here first. It felt like we made a little history there,” Llamados coach Tim Cone said afterwards.
“And it’s a lot more fun to tell your grandchildren that you won that game,” he said.
The victory was also special for the American mentor as it was his 700th career win, underscoring his achievement as the winningest coach of all-time ahead of the legendary coaching `Maestro', Virgilio `Baby" Dalupan (601).
“It’s just a function of longevity,” Cone said, downplaying the feat. “Baby got his wins faster.”
Blakely exploded for 26 points, 20 rebounds, five steals, four blocks, and three assists while playing all 48 minutes to lead the Llamados to their seventh win in 10 games.
With Yap sitting out for most part of the game due to back spasm, the Llamados trailed, 49-39, at halftime.
But they outscored the Texters by 10, 28-18, in the third period to knot the count at 67 heading into the fourth.
Blakely did most of his damage in the payoff period, scoring 10 of his output.
The Llamados never looked back the moment Mar Pingris, who had 12 points, six assists, and five boards, gave the Lteam a 74-73 lead early in the fourth,
The Texters threatened for the last time after a Larry Fonacier triple made it 94-91 with 24.3 seconds left. A B-meg turnover in the next possession gave Talk N Text a chance to tie, but Ranidel de Ocampo missed a triple to end the match.
Paul Harris had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Texters, who dropped to 5-5 overall.
B-MEG (94) -- Blakely 26, Urbiztondo 14, Pingris 12, Reavis 12, De Ocampo 10, Simon 8, Barroca 7, Villanueva 5, Yap 0.
TALK N' TEXT (91) -- Harris 24, Alapag 17, Castro 15, Williams 13, Fonacier 9, Aguilar 8, De Ocampo 3, Reyes 2, Aban 0, Lao 0, Peek 0.
Quarterscores: 19-27; 39-49; 67-67; 94-91.