A RED-HOT James Yap led the way and the rest of San Mig followed suit, dealing Barangay Ginebra a 110-87 beating in Game Seven on Wednesday night to book its place in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
'Big Game' James lived up to his name in one of the most anticipated games in the league in years, scoring a game-high 30 points built around seven three-pointers in a shooting display with longtime partner PJ Simon which an awed Tim Cone described as "phenomenal."
Five of those three-pointers came in the first half, where San Mig set the tone for the do-or-die match by opening a double-digit lead against a jittery and terribly disorganized Ginebra unit before the biggest crowd ever to watch a PBA game.
Unfortunately for Ginebra, those all-time high 24,883 fans who watched the game inside the historic Big Dome - and millions more on television - witnessed a carnage as San Mig totally dominated on the way to forging a best-of-seven finals opposite Rain or Shine.
“Too much James and PJ tonight," said San Mig coach Tim Cone after leading the former Purefoods franchise to a second successive finals appearance, fourth over the last six conferences, and 25th overall. "That’s what it was so whatever they ate, we’re gonna have to find out.”
Simon backed up Yap with 28 points, most of them coming in the final quarter when the Mixers put the game away.
“I’ve never seen such a shooting performance by two guys ever before in my life, especially in a Game Seven, just phenomenal. I mean, shooting like that, for sure, nobody can beat us,” Cone added.
Outside Yap and Simon, the Mixers actually collected big numbers from Rafi Reavis, rookie forward Ian Sangalang, who banged in 15 points apiece while Marc Pingris chipped in a near triple-double performance of eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Third-year guard Mark Barroca added six points and 10 assists, while hounding Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio who scored 16 points but shot just 2-of-12 from beyond the arc and had only two assists in 36 minutes.
Mark Caguioa carried the scoring brunt for the Gin Kings with 23, though the Mixers’ excellent defense held him down to just six in the entire second half.
Japeth Aguilar added 17 and nine boards, while his front court partner Greg Slaughter had a quiet 12 points and a series-low three rebounds.
Overall, San Mig’s 60 percent shooting from the field was just too much for Ginebra to overcome.
The Mixers also dominated the boards, 48-35.