MANILA, Philippines – The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers know the Barangay Ginebra Kings will be out for revenge when they face off Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Sunday’s showdown will be the encore of San Mig and Ginebra’s thrilling seven-game series in the PBA Philippine Cup, which saw the Mixers oust the Gin Kings and go on to win the title.
“We know they’ll be gunning for us after the last conference, and we’d do the same if the roles were reversed,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the league website. “So we’ll need to be ready for their intensity and desire.”
“The Manila Clasico always seems to bring out the most of both teams. We’re expecting nothing less in this match,” he added.
San Mig is also seeking its second straight victory after debuting with a 91-75 rout of GlobalPort last Wednesday thanks in part to a strong showing from their bench.
“The key right now is really our second group,” said Cone, admitting that they need to give their first five – including James Yap, Marc Pingris, PJ Simon and Joe Devance – as much rest as possible. “That’s our goal – try not to overplay them.”
San Mig’s young guns – Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca and Justin Melton – responded to the challenge, while import James Mayes had a modest debut with 15 points and six rebounds, though Cone assured that he has yet to show his true capabilities.
“We have a high-energy import. He had his moment in the game, but you’ve not seen the best of him yet,” said Cone.
Meanwhile, Ginebra is trying to bounce back from a 96-112 whitewashing at the hands of sister team San Miguel Beer.
In what was the last game of SMB import Josh Boone, the Beermen thoroughly dominated the Kings, with Boone matching the rebound output of the Ginebra frontline all by himself after grabbing 21 boards.
Game time is at 5:15 p.m.