San Mig Coffee outlasts Meralco for No. 2 spot
MANILA – San Mig Coffee defeated Meralco in a thrilling finish, 88-87, and clinched second seed in the ensuing quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday.
The Bolts were on the verge of stealing the game in the final seconds, but Marqus Blakely foiled Mario West’s potential game winner, allowing them to secure the twice-to-beat bonus for the Mixers.
San Mig Coffee finished the short eliminations phase with a 6-3 record, behind league leader Petron Blaze (8-1).
“It’s nice to nestle into that No. 2 spot,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the PBA website.
The Mixers were leading, 86-81, when back-to-back treys by the Bolts’ Sunday Salvacion and Mike Cortez trimmed the lead to 87-88.
West then intercepted an inbound pass and went for a potential game winner with four seconds remaining in the game. But Blakely came rushing from behind and deflected the shot before regulation.
Blakely finished with double-double figures of 24 points and 13 rebounds. The Mixers also got added boost from PJ Simon who tallied 20.
San Mig Coffee tried to stop West, but the prolific Meralco import still managed to score 31 points.
Cliff Hodge and John Wilson added 19 and 13, respectively, but the Bolts failed to sustained their momentum from the third quarter.
San Mig Coffee 88 – Blakely 24, Simon 20, Mallari 8, Yap 8, Pingris 7, Barroca 6, Maliksi 5, Devance 5, Reavis 5, De Ocampo 0.
Meralco 87 – West 31, Hodge 19, Wilson 13, Reyes 6, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 6, Cortez 4, Cardona 2, Guevarra 0, Ross 0, Allado 0.
Quarterscores: 34-24, 50-47, 64-70, 88-87