ONE interested spectator during the San Mig Coffee-Talk `N Text do-or-die match on Sunday night was James Mays, who happens to be the Mixers’ import in the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
And while the Mixers remain very much in the hunt for the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup title after making the semifinals, Mays also made it clear that he came over to Manila to help the franchise win the championship of the mid-season conference that kicks off on March 7.
The 6-foot-9 Mays arrived in the country over the weekend to get acquainted with his new team early.
“That’s the goal (to win a PBA championship with San Mig). I didn’t come here to lose. I came here for us to compete in the championship,” Mays said when Spin.ph caught up with him after watching the Mixers’ 90-82 win over the Tropang Texters in the deciding Game Three at the Astrodome.
Mays, a US-born Central African player, was proud to see San Mig overcame the three-time All-Filipino champion.
“It’s (Game Three) really competitive and very physical too. More physical than I thought it would be,” he said of his impression of plays in Asia’s pioneering pro league.
The import said there is no substitute for hard work especially in the team’s quest for the championship of the season-opening conference.
“One thing I can say, they (Mixers) played really hard. They played their guts out, playing as if it’s their last game,” he said.
“Everybody’s cool. I just met them (Mixers) today and I think it’s gonna be fun,” added the former standout from Clemson.
The 230-pound Mays said he’s no stranger to overseas basketball, having played for the Beijing Ducks in China followed by stints in Puerto Rico and Turkey.
Mays played for the Springfield Armor in the NBA Developmental League in the 2012-13 season where he was eventually named to the Prospects All-Star roster for the 2013 D-League All-Star Game.
He also had stops with the Maine Red Claws before being traded to the Sioux Falls Skyforce in exchange for Gabe Pruitt.
Only last year, Mays joined the San Antonio Spurs for the 2013 NBA Summer League.