Mixers kick off PBA Grand Slam bid with win over Energy
MANILA, Philippines—Just a week removed from its championship run, San Mig Coffee kept its winning ways with 76-66 victory over Barako Bull Wednesday in its 2014 PBA Governors’ Cup debut.
But head coach Tim Cone admitted that he wasn’t satisfied with the Mixers’ performance, saying that they didn’t come out a team that has won three straight titles.
“To be honest we didn’t look a championship team out there. There’s a little bit of disruption in the rotation with Allein [Maliksi] and Marqus [Blakely] coming in,” said Cone.
The Mixers just couldn’t find the push to pull away for good from the pesky Energy, who handily wiped away the defending champions’ lead in the second and tied the game at 60.
Justin Melton gave San Mig Coffee back the lead with a triple with under eight minutes to play, and the reigning titlists never trailed anew although they also didn’t lead by more than 10 the rest of the way.
“We stayed in the game with our defense. We’ll sharpen our offense with a little more time. It’s just been a whirlwind for us right now,” Cone said.
PJ Simon topscored with 17 points while Blakely struggled with 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting, but hauled down 24 rebounds and dished out four assists.
With the rare Grand Slam in mind, the Mixers are just hoping to eke out wins early in the conference even before they fully get their groove back.
“We’re just gonna see if we can grind out some early wins and. hope to make it to the top 4, that’s our goal right now,” Cone, who is on the cusp of another grand slam, said.
Barako Bull absorbed its first loss after an opening-day win over Meralco.
Eric Wise led all scorers with 25 points to go along with his 15 boards but the Energy only shot 32.% from the field and 9.5% from beyond the arc.