DESPITE losing Game Two of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series against San Mig, Air21’s Asi Taulava still likes the Express’ chances against their fancied opponent.
The veteran big man said as long as the team keeps the game close all the way, the Express always have a good shot at beating the Mixers.
Taulava noted that if not for a crucial San Mig run in the second quarter, Air21 could have a better chance of winning the game.
Unfortunately, the Express failed to stop the Mixers from uncorking a 12-0 run to end the first half that put San Mig on top, 50-34.
The Mixers went on to win, 82-75, that leveled the best-of-five series at 1-1.
“No letdown like the end of the second quarter,” said Taulava, who led the Express with 21 points and 18 rebounds.
The 41-year-old veteran center also added the Express have to keep playing aggressive on both ends of the floor to stay competitive with the Mixers’ star-studded team.
“(We need to) stay aggressive on offense and defense. Be fearless and play with that NSD (never-say-die) spirit our fans love us for,” he added.
Meanwhile, San Mig coach Tim Cone said it is imperative for the Mixers to take advantage of whatever momentum they gained in Thursday night’s win and carry it with them into Game Three of the series set at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“Air21, they are a confident team at this point,” Cone said. “They believe in themselves and they are not going to back down.”
The multi-titled coach said he was just glad his veteran all-Filipino crew was able to hold the fort during a crucial stretch in Game Two when import James Mays ran into foul trouble.
“James (Mays) was in foul trouble, but our local group came out and held the fort. I guess we are the All-Filipino champions so we could do that,” he added.
Defensively, San Mig managed to do well after holding Air21 import Wesley Witherspoon to just eight points.
Compounding Air21’s woes was the Achilles heel injury of Sean Anthony, rendering the Fil-Canadian gunner ineffective on Thursday.