San Mig Coffee's PJ Simon goes for a floater against Air21. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee pocketed Game Three with an 84-73 win against Air21 on Saturday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum.
The victory allowed the Mixers to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five series as they get near a possible finals duel with Talk ‘N Text.
James Mays lorded the boards with 32 big rebounds to go with his 15 points for San Mig Coffee. PJ Simon and Mark Barroca churned out 18 and 17, respectively, to help the Mixers take the series lead.
Justin Melton scored only six points, but played a crucial role when the Mixers held off the Express in the fourth quarter.
"One game at a time is an old cliché. But everyone says that because it’s true. We've put this one away and hopefully we can come out to also get the next game," said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone in the PBA website.
The Express obviously missed the presence of Sean Anthony, who was forced to sit out Game Three due to an injured foot.
San Mig Coffee took advantage of Anthony’s absence by concentrating their defense on Air21’s import Wesley Witherspoon.
"Without Anthony, there’s a lot of pressure on Witherspoon to carry the team. That allowed us to focus on him,” said Cone.
Asi Taulava topscored the Express with 21 points, while Witherspoon had a 19-point output.
San Mig Coffee will have the chance to close out Air21 on Monday when they resume their semifinals
San Mig Coffee 84 – Simon 18, Barroca 17, Mays 15, Devance 9, Pingris 7, Melton 6, Yap 6, Reavis 4, Sangalang 2, De Ocampo 0, Gaco 0, Mallari 0.
Air21 73 – Taulava 21, Witherspoon 19, Ramos 10, Yeo 6, Burtscher 5, Cardona 4, Borboran 3, Poligrates 3, Villanueva 2, Jaime 0, Menor 0, Atkins 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 49-40, 64-59, 84-73