Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
GAME FRIDAY (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m.—San Miguel Beer vs Air21
Making the most out of a little opening in the fourth quarter, San Mig Coffee hacked out a 70-65 decision over Alaska Wednesday night to drag their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series into a deciding Game 3 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Holding the Aces to just seven points in the first 11 minutes of the fourth while dropping a 16-0 bomb, the Mixers scooted away before fending off a last-gasp stand by Alaska to stay alive and keep its bid for a third straight championship alive.
“70-65? Really? That’s such a high-scoring game,” San Mig coach Tim Cone said in jest. “Jeez, this is just grind-it-out basketball. It’s such a struggle playing against Alaska’s defense.”
Rain or Shine also took its series with Meralco to a rubber match after scoring a highly-physical 102-93 win later in the night.
The knockout games of both playoff pairings is also scheduled on Saturday.
Marc Pingris led the Mixers with 17 points and 12 rebounds and had a lot of intangible plays in the stretch that didn’t reflect in the stats sheets but helped San Mig a great deal.
San Mig trailed by 12 points entering the third period and were down by six early in the fourth quarter when its defense held the Aces scoreless for close to eight minutes to open a 69-59 lead heading into the final minute.
But the Aces didn’t just fold up and die there, summoning one last spurt that had them coming within four with 50 seconds left only to miss two three-point attempts in succession that sealed their doom.
“They are playing at a championship level,” Cone said of his former team, which is being coached by his ex-chief deputy. “(Robert) Dozier and (Sonny) Thoss are two beasts that are tough to play against.”
SAN MIG COFFEE 70—Pingris 17, Devance 13, Mays 12, Barroca 10, Yap 9, Simon 4, Sanggalang 2, Reavis 2, Mallari 1, Melton 0.
ALASKA 65—Dozier 22, Hontiveros 16, Baguio 7, Casio 6, Jazul 6, Abueva 4, Thoss 3, Manuel 1, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Espinas 0.
Quarters: 12-16; 24-36; 49-50; 70-65
RAIN OR SHINE 102—Chism 26, Araña 12, Norwood 11, Cruz 10, Tang 10, Lee 8, Tiu 6, Belga 4, Ibañes 4, Rodriguez 4, Chan 3, Almazan 2, Nuyles 2, Teng 0.
MERALCO 93—Jackson 21, David 19, Salvacion 18, Wilson 9, Hodge 7, Hugnatan 6, Timberlake 4, Dillinger 4, Caram 3, Sena 2, Ildefonso 0, Guevarra 0.
Quarters: 22-18; 49-34; 77-66; 102-93