Petron flattens San Mig, takes Game 1
MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze unleashed the weapons of destruction from its vast arsenal and took the opener of the PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven finale with an empathic 100-84 drubbing of San Mig Coffee last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Elijah Millsap delivered a triple-double game with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and five local Petron players contributed double-digit outputs in a well-balanced game the Mixers just couldn’t match in this contest.
The Boosters, the elimination-round topnotchers, made their strongest push together in the payoff period, pounding the badly stunned San Mig side, 41-23, to secure the win and all the positive vibes it brings going to Game Two.
“We played great in the fourth quarter and we’re happy to win the game. It will certainly boost our confidence but it would mean nothing if we don’t continue to grind and do what we’re supposed to do,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla.
“We broke down in the fourth and let them make a run,” rued San Mig coach Tim Cone.
The two teams were fighting tooth and nail before the Boosters unleashed the full might of their arsenal in the final canto, breaking away from a 59-61 count.
Millsap poured in 14 of his 35 points in the quarter while Chriz Lutz made all of his 11 in that stretch with Marcio Lassiter, Junmar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot adding at least four each in their vicious attack.
Lutz, Lassiter, Fajardo, Cabagnot and Arwind Santos finished with at least 10 markers each as Petron overpowered a San Mig side lacking in firepower from usual gunners James Yap and Mark Barroca.
Yap was held down to eight points, tossing in a first field-goal conversion already halfway through the third period.
“We had six guys scoring in double figures. We really had a total team effort,” said Abanilla.
“Paul Millsap is showing the different dimensions of his game. He can score and he can rebound; no question about that. What’s good is he’s doing his thing and he shares a lot. That’s good for our chemistry,” Abanilla also said, lauding his import who came through with his third triple-double performance in the tourney.
Millsap and Santos buckled down to work early, combining for 30 points as the Boosters took the half at 41-36.
The Boosters imposed their game at the onset, leading by 13 at 31-18, but then the Mixers made the right adjustments and pulled abreast at 36-all.
Santos and Millsap connected on quick transition plays as Petron carried a five-point lead over into the final half.
A big scare for Petron early on was Millsap writhing in pain as he hyper-extended his left foot after slipping on a wet spot of the floor.
After a brief rest, Millsap returned, though, inflicting the Mixers much pain.
NOTES: For the first time in 17 years, Ginebra makes the first pick in the annual rookie draft. Air21 beat Globalport in the lottery for the first pick in the coming draft. The particular rights, however, had already been dealt to Ginebra. It will be the Kings’ third No. 1 selection in draft history after 1994 and 1996 where they enlisted Noli Locsin and Marlou Aquino…….Meralco started reorganizing its roster five days after its last game in the season, acquiring former three-time scoring champ Gary David from Globalport in a trade deal that involved three other players and two future draft selections. The Bolts also got young Fil-Am playmaker AJ Mandani while giving away guards Chris Ross and Chris Timberlake and the team’s second-round draft picks in 2016 and 2017.
Petron 100 – Millsap 35, Santos 16, Fajardo 12, Lassiter 12, Lutz 11, Cabagnot 10, Miranda 2, Tubid 2, Kramer 0.
San Mig Coffee 84 – Blakely 23, Pingris 16, Simon 13, Devance 10, Yap 8, Barroca 6, De Ocampo 4, Mallari 2, Reavis 2, Acuña 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 41-36, 59-61, 100-84