PBA: Mixers topple pesky Texters, battle Gin Kings in semifinals
MANILA, Philippines — Almost written off after a poor start, San Mig Coffee completed its climb to the Final Four Sunday night while snuffing out Talk ‘N Text’s bid for PBA Philippine Cup history.
The Mixers held the Tropang Texters scoreless in the final 2 minutes and 30 seconds while coming up with eight unanswered points in a 90-82 win that clinched for San Mig Coffee the last semifinal slot in the season-opening tournament at Cuneta Astrodome.
Mark Barroca and Marc Pingris scored all but two of those points inside the final 1:38 as the Mixers wriggled out of an 82-all tie to seal a best-of-seven series clash with sister team and elimination-round topnotcher Barangay Ginebra starting Tuesday.
The Mixers also got a huge lift from high-flying 5-foot-9 rookie Justin Melton, who was never a factor for the team until yesterday (Sunday) and threw the Talk ‘N Text defense in disarray.
Melton scored a career-high 12 points on a 4-of-7 clip from beyond three-point distance, getting clear looks at the basket with the Talk ‘N Text defense not knowing how to play him.
“We have a secret weapon tonight in Justin,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone, who is in his sixth Final Four appearance with the Mixers. “He was the key for us tonight because he gave us a new dimension (on offense).”
The Tropang Texters tied the count at 82 after a Ranidel de Ocampo triple with 2:30 to go only to cool off and kiss their bid for a record fourth straight all-Filipino crown goodbye.
San Mig started out with three straight losses and was at 1-5 before finishing the elimination round with a 7-7 card for the No. 5 slot in the quaterfinal playoffs. The Mixers have won six of their last seven games and will be colliding with a Ginebra squad that will be coming off its most impressive win of the season.
Meanwhile, the other half of the Final Four gets going today when Rain or Shine battles Petron Blaze in Game 1 of their own race-to-four series at 8 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elasto Painters booked a place in the Final Four in one try, while the Boosters swept Barako Bull in their quarterfinal duel.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 90—Barroca 18, Devance 14, Pingris 13, Melton 12, Simon 10, Mallari 8, Yap 8, Sangalang 7, De Ocampo 0, Reavis 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 82—De Ocampo 22, Castro 15, Canaleta 13, Seigle 8, Alapag 6, Williams 5, Fonacier 5, Carey 5, Reyes R. 3, Aban 0, Peek 0, Reyes J. 0, Baclao 0.
Quarters: 20-21, 42-40, 61-60, 90-82