PBA: Mixers pull away in third, blast Express
MANILA, Philippines — San Mig Coffee pulled away in the third quarter and blasted Air21, 97-84, Wednesday to half a two-game slide in the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers broke off from a 53-all deadlock with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter then built a safe lead, which they would never relinquish for their fourth win this conference.
“We played with a lot of more togetherness and connection in the third. We connected a lot better than we had been in the past few games,” said head coach Tim Cone after the match.
San Mig Coffee actually had the advantage early, but Air21 handily wiped that off and stayed within a basket for most of the second quarter.
It was only in the second half when the Mixers started taking full total control of the match, pouncing on the Express’ miscues en route to 29 whopping fastbreak points.
“Coming out of halftime, there was a better sense of urgency,” the multi-titled mentor added.
James Mays finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks for San Mig Coffee but PJ Simon gave the biggest boost off the bench by scattering 20 points.
But Cone commended his squad’s defense for limiting Mark Cardona to just 10 points on 11 attempts. Wesley Witherspoon, meanwhile, finished with 27 but on 8-of-20 shooting.
“I think we did a good job against Witherspoon and a good job against Cardona. They’re basically our two targets in our game plan and we did a good job,” said Cone.
The victory gave the Mixers cushion at number third while the Express dropped to 3-4 as the elimination round nears it close.