'Scoring Apostle' PJ Simon pushes B-MEG to game 1 win over Talk 'N Text
MANILA, Philippines - 'Scoring Apostle' Peter June Simon stayed true to his monicker.
Simon hit key baskets near the end game and led all locals in scoring with 18 points to help the B-MEG Llamados secure game one of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals, 88-82.
The Llamados' offense was clicking in the first half which featured a long 2-point buzzer beater from Joe Devance that put B-MEG on top by 11, 25-16 at the end of the first quarter. Tim Cone's squad also got a lift from their 2nd unit which continued the hot streak of the starters.
Talk 'N Text import Donnell Harvey kept them in the game by finishing the first half with 15 points to go with 5 rebounds. The Texters started to rally in the third quarter thanks to their tight defense.
Larry Fonacier completed a rare 4-point play to tie the game at 56. A couple of possessions later, Ryan Reyes hit one from beyond the arc to give Talk 'N Text the lead at 59-58 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
'Machine Gun' Kelly Willams closed the 3rd quarter with another triple that pushed the Texters' lead to 5, 67-62 but it was all PJ Simon and B-MEG from that point on.
Simon hit back-to-back baskets in the 4th quarter to put B-MEG ahead by 3 markers, 71-68. He was whistled for his 5th personal foul with 5 minutes left to play after extending B-MEG's lead, 76-69.
Talk 'N Text was without a field goal for nearly 7 minutes until Jared Dillinger scored on a putback at the 4:52 mark of the 4th quarter.
Jimmy Alapag hit a 3-ball to narrow the gap to 4 points, 86-82, with 29.9 seconds left in the game but that was the last field goal that Talk 'N Text would convert for the game.
The Texters shot poorly from the free throw line who missed 20 from the charity stripe.
"If we had made fifty percent (50%) of what we missed, we could have won by two," said Texters coach Chot Reyes.
Llamados coach Tim Cone expects Talk 'N Text to make the right adjustments, "I've always felt the loser has the advantage coming into the next game," but hopes to "reach deep, come back and win Game 2."
The PBA Commissioner's Cup also generated buzz in the social networking site Twitter. Best player 'PJ Simon' reached as high as number 2 in Twitter's Worldwide trending list.
'PJ Simon' hit number one in the Philippine trending list followed by 'Go B-Meg' while other PBA-related topics '#PBAFinals' and 'James Yap' were also present in the list.
Simon also used Twitter to thank the 'B-MEG planet' - regarded as the 2nd largest PBA Team fanbase next to Ginebra's 'Barangay'.