Marcus Blakely fell two assists shy of a triple double and he didn’t even have to force the issue in the second half.
It was that kind of dominating night for the San Mig Coffee Mixers, who explosively rebounded from a pair of frustrating losses by jumping on the shorthanded Talk N Text Tropang Texters early and then cruising to a 118-99 win last night in the PBA Governors Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.
Blakely scored 16 of his team-high 24 points in the first quarter as the Mixers built a big cushion for their first victory against a team missing four mainstays of the Gilas Pilipinas team, who were given a well-deserved break after the recent Fiba Asia Championship.
James Yap finally found his range, sinking three of his five three-pointers and finishing with 21 points after two mediocre sniping efforts against Rain Or Shine and Air21 where the two-time league MVP averaged a measly five points.
Back from a brief vacation after also starring for the national team, Marc Pingris provided the backbone the Mixers badly needed inside. The rugged 6-foot-4 forward had 23 points and eight rebounds, six of them offensive boards.
“We caught Talk ‘N Text on a really bad night. With two losses, we just couldn’t take things for granted,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone without mentioning the absence of TNT stars Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, Larry Fonacier and Ranidel de Ocampo.
The Mixers jumped to an 18-point lead in the first period and kept things under control in the next three quarters.
Blakely also finished with 17 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal. It was a rare feat for the 6-foot-5 grinder from the Houston Rockets.
Tony Mitchell carried the scoring load with 38 points for the Tropang Texters, who opened the conference with a win over Barako Bull.
SAN MIG COFFEE 118—Blakely 24, Pingris 23, Yap 21, Maliksi 10, Mallari 9, Devance 9, Barroca 7, Simon 7, Reavis 6, Gaco 2, Alvarez 0, Acuna 0, Najorda 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 99—Mitchell 38, Anthony 21, Al-Hussaini 10, Reyes 8, Peek 8, Aquino 5, Reyes 5, Aban 2, Carey 2, Raymundo 0, Ferriols 0.
Quarters: 39-21, 60-46, 89-71, 118-99