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PBA Quarterfinals: B-Meg Llamados vs Meralco Bolts

Kaede RukawaKaede Rukawa #FearTheBeer PExer


With contrasting fates in the double-playoff Friday night, B-Meg and Meralco have found themselves
pitted against each other, slugging it out for the right to play Barangay Ginebra in the PBA
Commissioner’s Cup Final Four.

With hardly a rest, the Llamados and the Bolts return to the floor Sunday, beginning their
best-of-three quarterfinals showdown at 6:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We don’t have much time to reflect or feel bad (about our loss to Ginebra Friday). It’s all
about bouncing back and refocusing,” said B-Meg coach Tim Cone.

The Bolts, on the other hand, are raring to pick up from where they left off versus the Powerade
Tigers Friday in their hope to sustain their climb in the post-elim plays.

The Llamados narrowly missed an outright semis berth as they bowed to the Ginebra Kings, 84-93,
while the Bolts barely made the quarters in overcoming the Powerade Tigers, 102-98, Friday.

Cone and his troops are not sulking, still hopeful they can make the Final Four.

“We have a resilient group. We’ll show up ready against Meralco,” said Cone.

Gregorio, meanwhile, feels their tough grind in the eliminations could only make them better in the

“The 1-4 (win-loss) team a few weeks ago is now a 4-1 team in the last five games. Our turnaround
is brought about by our strong commitment to defense. Against B-Meg, the same kind of lockdown
defensive mentality is required if we want to continue our ambitious climb to the top,” he said

“The challenge against B-Meg is how to keep in step with their roster power. Our perspective is
simple -- the game is 5 on 5, and for as long as we have guys inside, we will compete till the
end,” he added.

Of course, Gregorio is well familiar with the Llamados, a team he steered to three championships.

He pointed to Denzel Bowles, James Yap, PJ Simon and Josh Urbiztondo as the men they must

“We had a creditable job hounding Gary David, Marcio Lassiter and Jvee Casio (of Powerade Friday).
Against B-Meg, their guards James Yap, PJ Simon and Josh Urbiztondo must also be contained. Denzel
Bowles is excellent too, and he must be limited,” said Gregorio.

The two teams figured in a fierce battle in their elims faceoff with the Llamados pulling off a
narrow 96-93 win.

The Bolts, however, still had the unimpressive Jarrid Famous as import then.

Earl Barron keyed Meralco’s strong windup in the elims, and he’s tipped to present much threat
to the Llamados.

Barron could be a matchup problem for the Llamados, being a seven-foot player who can play inside
and outside.


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