Acers, Painters begin series
MANILA, Philippines–Gang-defending with reckless abandon and executing brilliantly on the other end, San Mig Coffee on Thursday night pulled off a 92-88 overtime victory over Talk ’N Text for a 1-0 lead in their PBA Governors’ Cup Final Four series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Grand Slam-seeking Mixers held the Tropang Texters scoreless for a five-minute span in the fourth and then again for a three-minute stretch in extra time to complete the come-from-behind win and take momentum going into Friday’s Game 2.
San Mig’s win coming from the backdoor marked the third time this season that the Mixers have taken the headstart in their playoff series with the Tropang Texters, and it was made possible by Allein Maliksi’s triple with 21.2 left in regulation that necessitated overtime at 77.
That shot completed a rally from 75-66 down with 5:41 left as the Mixers allowed the next Talk ‘N Text basket to come with 26.5 ticks remaining courtesy of Jason Castro for 77-74.
And after the Texters had taken an 82-80 lead after a Ranidel de Ocampo triple with 3:31 left, the Mixers scored nine unanswered points, with Marc Pingris highlighting that run with five straight points and Mark Barroca capping it with two free throws going into the last 31.3.
“We battled and stayed in the game,” San Mig coach Tim Cone, who is chasing his second sweep of a PBA season after first pulling it off in 1996 with Alaska, said. “We gave ourselves a chance in the end. Overall, it was a scattered performance by us.”
Marqus Blakely scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds and four locals tossed in 10 or more to make up for the absence of Peter June Simon for the second straight game.
Jason Castro paced the Texters with 24 and Ranidel de Ocampo had 19. Import Paul Harris was held to just 17 and he missed the potential game-winning jumper at the end of regulation.
Meanwhile, Alaska and Rain or Shine start their own best-of-five semis series at 8 p.m. Friday, also at the Big Dome.
“I had no idea (that I will be coaching in the semifinals right away),” Compton said.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 92—Blakely 20, Yap 13, Barroca 11, Maliksi 10, Pingris 10, Devance 9, Sangalang 9, Mallari 6, Melton 4, Reavis 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 88—Castro 24, De Ocampo 19, Harris 17, Williams 9, Alapag 5, Fonacier 4, Baclao 4, Reyes 3, Canaleta 3, Carey 0.
Quarters: 18-22, 39-40, 62-65, 77-77 (reg.), 92-88