Mixers trump Aces for PBA semis berth
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee crippled Alaska's offense in the final two minutes of the game, as they carved out an 83-73 win and entered the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals on Friday.
The Mixers had a twice-to-beat edge going into the quarterfinals, but lost a shootout match to the Aces, 112-105, last Wednesday.
This time around, San Mig Coffee relied on their defense to weather Alaska’s offensive might.
“It feels like a championship game, it's a knockout game, unfortunately we lost the first one,” San Mig import Marqus Blakely said following their win.
“We knew it wasn't gonna be easy and it's gonna be mentally tough and physically tough and we grinded it down on the defensive end,” added Blakely, who came up with 30 points and 15 rebounds for the Mixers.
With San Mig’s defense up and running, Alaska failed to make a single field goal in the last two minutes. The Mixers, on the other hand, uncorked a 9-3 run to turn a slim 74-70 lead to an 83-73 advantage.
Wendell McKines led the way for the Aces with a double-double effort of 24 points and 20 rebounds.
However, Jayvee Casio, who scored 21 points in their previous game against the Mixers, was held to just 5 points on a miserable 1-of-9 field goal shooting.
Blakely acknowledged that San Mig Coffee is not a high-scoring team. But whatever they lacked in scoring was atoned by their superior defense.
“We know when we get to a hundred, we're not that type of team. We're doing a great job on defense, not just individual defense but team defense,” he said.
San Mig Coffee will next face Meralco in the semifinal round that begins on Sunday.
San Mig Coffee 83 - Blakely 30, Devance 12, Maliksi 10, Barroca 7, Simon 7, Mallari 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 3, Ponferrada 2, Yap 2.
Alaska 73 - McKines 24, Baguio 20, Dela Cruz 10, Thoss 6, Casio 5, Abueva 4, Jazul 3, Espinas 1, Hontiveros 0.
Quarterscores: 18-12, 39-35, 61-53, 83-73