San Mig Coffee got an early boost of brilliance from James Yap as the Mixers got back into the PBA Governors’ Cup mix by leading from start to finish in a fight-marred 102-88 victory over Globalport at Cuneta Astrodome last night.
The two-time MVP tossed in 11 of the Mixers’ first 24 points, ushering San Mig to commanding leads early before a fight ensued with 8:11 left in the third quarter between Kelly Nabong of Globalport and national team standout Marc Pingris.
San Mig opened up leads of as many as 21 points late in the second period and, according to coach Tim Cone, was ready to finish off one of its best games in the conference when the melee happened.
The Mixers rose to 2-3 and tied their victims, with both still out of the top four teams that will get twice-to-beat privileges.
It all started with San Mig import Marqus Blakely and Globalport rookie Marvin Hayes being called for a double foul after taking each other down, 8:11 left and the score at 58-39.
Things got out of hand after that as several players joined the fracas, with Nabong coming to the aid of Hayes and Pingris going after the 6-foot-7 Globalport center.
What the referees disregarded—despite several replays of the game tape—was the cheap shot that Devance dished out on Hayes, which knocked down the Globalport guard for the second time and triggered the free-for-all.
That shot by Devance had Nabong charging into the fray with Pingris coming from Nabong’s blind, left side to throw a right straight that grazed the Fil-American center’s face.
Pingris and Nabong were thrown out for fighting with Hayes slapped a technical for second motion, even after being dragged to the floor face first by Blakely and later on decked by that Devance cheap shot.
Devance got away with just a technical foul.
“I may get in trouble for this, but I thought it (fight) was the fault (of the referees),” Cone said. “There was no call the first three or four times that Marqus and Marvin lay on the floor. I am complaining about the fact that the referees did not control the game early.”
Emi Tankion, Romel Gruta and rookie referee Dax Dacanay called the riotous game.
SAN MIG 102—Blakely 25, Yap 22, Maliksi 18, Devance 16, Pingris 10, Simon 4, Reavis 4, Barroca 3, Alvarez 0, Gaco 0, De Ocampo 0.
GLOBALPORT 88—David 27, Cummings 20, Washington 14, Mercado 13, Miller 5, Mandani 4, Belencion 3, Salvador 2, Hayes 0, Taha 0, Nabong 0, Yee 0, Alonzo 0.
Quarters: 28-14, 51-31, 79-66, 102-88