SAN Mig Coffee leaned on two clutch baskets by sophomore guard Andy Mark Barroca down the stretch, helping the Mixers pull off a tough 89-80 bounce-back win over Air21 in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Barroca effectively quarterbacked the Mixers, while firing away four straight points in a short but telling 7-0 windup that all but settled the outcome of the match.
Coming off a humiliating 63-92 defeat at the hands of defending champion Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday, San Mig tied idle Rain or Shine at second place with its eighth win in 11 games.
The Express, on the other hand, suffered their second straight loss to go down at 4-7 in the standings.
“It was a good bounce back obviously for us. As I mentioned before, we got embarrassed big time. And that can be difficult to recover from,” admitted San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
“But in the big scheme of things, coaches always preach that a 40-point loss and one point loss is still a one-game loss.”
The 29-point loss by the Mixers to the Tropang Texters was the franchise’s worst since 2003.
“But one thing we said in the practice, we’re not gonna talk about it, but we’re gonna focus on Air21. This group we have is a very veteran group. They don’t get too down after a loss like that,” added Cone.
While the Express fought valiantly through the efforts of KG Canaleta, James Sena, and Mark Isip, they still fell short in the endgame when Barroca came to the Mixers’ rescue.
Barroca also hounded Air21 veteran playmaker Mike Cortez in the second half, shackling the usually effective point guard out of La Salle.
Cortez, playing just his fourth game with the Express, only scored nine points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
James Yap led the Mixers with 20 points, spiked with three three-point shots, while Barroca and Jonas Villanueva added 12 and 11, respectively.
Canaleta had 18 points and six rebounds in a losing cause for the Express.
San Mig Coffee (89) --Yap 20, Barroca 12, Villanueva 11, Reavis 10, Simon 9, Pingris 8, Devance 7, Intal 6, De Ocampo 6, Gonzales 0.
Air21 (80) -- Canaleta 18, Sena 10, Isip 10, Cortez 9, Wilson 8, Custodio 8, Reyes 7, Ritualo 6, Baclao 4, Atkins 0, Arboleda 0.
Quarterscores: 25-21, 51-45, 73-66, 89-80