Aces-Mixers opener sign of things to comeBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Don’t expect the offense to come easy for both Alaska and San Mig Coffee in their next game or perhaps the whole series.
The Aces and the Mixers worked for every basket Saturday night in their semifinals opener where San Mig Coffee came out on top of a grinder, 71-69, – an indication of how things are going to be.
“This is going to be every game. Every game is going to be like this, down the wire, highly-physical, highly-emotional and it’s going to come down to who’s going to make the big shots down the stretch,” said coach Tim Cone. “Everybody had to bleed for points and it makes every time you score so exciting because you hardly ever get to score.”
“It’s not like we were missing shots, it’s just that everything was incredibly contested,” added Cone, who reasserted his mastery over his former team. “Hats off to Luigi and his staff and their players, hopefully we can figure out an easy way to score than what we’ve been doing right now.”
Despite a heartbreaking loss, Aces coach Luigi Trillo thinks the low-scoring Game 1 played to their advantage before Denzel Bowles just willed San Mig Coffee to win in the final minute.
“It was playing to us, we’re number one in limiting teams, I thought first half was tempo thing and in the second half both teams start feeling it and big players come to play in big games and that was that,” said Trillo.
“But overall, if you look at Denzel’s stats before those last two I thought we pretty much gave him his lowest output in the conference and I’m proud of that. With that said I think this is going to go five games,” added Trillo, whose overall record against the Mixers dropped to 0-6.
Game 2 of their best-of-five semis series is on Monday at 6:45 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.