B-Meg lived to fight another day, repulsing Rain or Shine, 91-81, in Game Five of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With their backs against the wall, the Llamados showed they wanted the game more than the Painters as they cut the deficit to 2-3 in the best-of-seven series.
“We came out and played with tremendous energy,” said Llamados coach Tim Cone, whose wards have now won their fifth do-or-die game dating back to last conference.
James Yap couldn’t have picked a better time to live up to his 'Big game' moniker, exploding for 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting to help the Llamados stay alive in their bid for back-to-back titles.
It was Yap’s highest output since the same exact game in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals, when the Escalante, Negros Occidental native also fired 30 markers to lift the Llamados past Talk ‘N Text.
“We were talking about stepping up tonight and James walked the talk,” Cone said. “He really put us on his shoulders. We had other contributions, but it was really on James.”
Cone also drew double-double performances from Marcus Blakely (24 points and 13 boards) and Yancy de Ocampo (14 and 14).
Despite playing without workhorse big man Marc Pingris, the Llamados outrebounded the Painters for the fifth straight game, 67-49.
“It was our turn to play like wounded tigers tonight,” said Cone, who’s also missing reliables JC Intal and Joe Devance.
The Llamados came under threat after Ryan Araña scored seven straight points, including a four-point play, to cut the lead to seven, 70-77, with nine minutes and 25 seconds left in the fourth.
But B-Meg finally put the game to bed after going on a 10-3 run to establish its biggest lead at 87-73 after a Marcus Blakely basket with 5:15 remaining.
Jamelle Cornley registered 25 points for the Painters, but the import only had two in the payoff period.
Gabe Norwood, who had 18 for Rain or Shine in Game Four, was a non-factor in Game Five after going scoreless in 37 minutes of play.
The Painters, who still have two chances to clinch their first title in franchise history, last tasted the lead at 25-22 after a Larry Rodriguez jumper early in the second.
B-MEG 91 - Yap 30, Blakely 24, De Ocampo 14, Barroca 9, Simon 7, Urbiztondo 2, Villanueva 2, Reavis 2, Gaco 1
RAIN OR SHINE 81 - Cornley 25, Chan 14, Arana 11, Cruz 8, Ibanes 6, Buenafe 5, Belga 4, Quinahan 4, Tang 2, Rodriguez 2, Norwood 0
Quarterscores: 19-18, 44-41, 70-61, 91-81