MANILA, Philippines—It was a tale of two halves for both Alaska and San Mig Coffee in Game 1 of their best-of-five semifinals series Saturday night.
Both teams traded big shots down the stretch, but not after missing a handful of attempts in the first half where the two squads made just nine field goals each as defense set the tone.
“It was a magnificent battle, maybe not a pretty game because it was all about defense but there was a lot of heart being displayed by both teams. Everybody had to bleed for points. Every score it was exciting because you ever hardly get to score,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
“I came in, honestly at the half and laughed to the coaching staff. I said, ‘Wow I can’t believe this’ we can’t make anything, they can’t make anything,” added Cone. “I don’t think it was bad basketball, it wasn’t like we were missing easy shots, it was just that everything was incredibly contested. It was the best defensive half I’ve ever been a part of for 24 years.”
The Mixers shot just 23.7 percent while the Aces weren’t any better at 26.7 percent as they combined for just 45 points, equaling the lowest first-half output back in March 2005 in a game between Purefoods and Sta. Lucia, according to PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon.
The 21 points Alaska scored in the first two quarters matched its all-time franchise low in a half it previously set back in March 5, 2005, when the Aces lost to Tanduay, 65-82.
San Mig Coffee managed to score only seven points in the opening quarter, its lowest output in a quarter over the last two seasons.