FRANZ Pumaren and Air21 won three of their last four games in the PBA Philippine Cup.
But with San Mig Coffee as the Express’ next assignment, the Air21 coach warned his boys to bring their A-game or suffer the Mixers’ expected wrath.
“It’s so hard to play against a team that is coming from a big loss. For sure, they (Mixers) will try to start strong and redeem themselves from that big loss,” Pumaren said on the eve of the Express’ Friday night encounter against the Mixers at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Express (4-6) and the Mixers (7-3) go up against each other in main game set at 7:30 p.m.
Pumaren cautioned the Express to take good care of the basketball if they wish to beat the Mixers, who are coming off a 63-92 humiliation at the hands of league-leader Talk ‘N Text Wednesday night.
The loss was the worst in franchise history for San Mig Coffee since 2003.
At the same time, the 63 points scored by the Mixers were the second lowest of any team this conference, next only to the 62 points made by Air21 in a losing cause against Rain or Shine in their last game in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
“In our loss to Rain or Shine, we had about 24 turnovers, which means we threw away 24 opportunities to score. That’s why the key to this game is to limit our turnovers and execute well,” added Pumaren.
The Mixers found their five-game winning streak snapped by the Tropang Texters, but knowing coach Tim Cone, he’s expected to find ways to motivate his team and play a more fluid game against Ai21.
San Mig star James Yap is coming off a low 13-point output on just 4-of-14 shooting from the field against Talk ‘N Text, although the 6-foot-1 guard out of University of the East is again expected to be at the forefront of San Mig Coffee’s offense.
The Mixers are currently in third behind Talk ‘N Text (9-2) and Rain or Shine (8-3).
With four games left in their assignment, Cone said they are gunning for one of the top two slots after the eliminations, which would guarantee them a twice-to-beat advantage going into the playoffs.