DIMINUTIVE playmaker Mark Barroca and James Yap nailed the big baskets down the stretch as San Mig Super Coffee nosed out a hard-fighting Globalport side, 83-80, for the team’s first back-to-back wins in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Barroca banged in seven of his team-high 18 points, including two free throws on a Justin Chua errant pass in the dying seconds, while Yap shook off an injury to hit the biggest shot of the night as the Mixers sustained a resurgence after a struggling start to the season.
Yap, who was playing with an inflamed right elbow, nailed a wide-open three-pointer off a broken play with 25 ticks left that gave San Mig the lead for good, 81-80.
“Well that’s why he’s James Yap, he’s hit big shots over the years,” said a beaming San Mig coach Tim Cone after the game. "That (shot) was huge at the time we needed it."
The multi-titled PBA mentor also commended Barroca for his game-long hustle and energy, which saved the Mixers from an endgame collapse. The San Mig starting guard finished the game with nine assists.
“I love Mark. He plays hard all the time, practices hard all the time. He’s really a joy to coach. You can scream at him, throw in the toilet and he’ll say, 'Okay coach,'” he added.
While San Mig improved to 3-5 (win-loss), the loss snapped the Batang Pier’s franchise-best to three as the two-year-old PBA team dropped to 4-4.
Cone only had kinds words for his counterpart Ritchie Ticzon, who took Globalport’s coaching rein in an interim capacity, just a week before the start of the season.
“Ritchie’s doing a great job keeping those (Batang Pier) guys together. They are sharing the ball and working hard on defense,” said the San Mig mentor.
Sol Mercado led the Batang Pier with 18 points, while Jay Washington added 15 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks.
Rookie forward Ian Sangalang and Yap finished with 15 points apiece for the Mixers, while PJ Simon and Joe Devance added 14 and 13, respectively.
SAN MIG 83 - Barroca 18, Sangalang 15, Yap 15, Simon 14, Devance 13, Pingris 4, Mallari 2, Reavis 2, Cawaling 0, Holstein 0.
GLOBALPORT 80 - Mercado 18, Washington 15, Chua 11, Nabong 8, Hayes 8, Garcia 8, Menk 6, Yee 2, Salva 2, Romeo 2, Villanueva 0, Lingganay 0, Salvador 0.
Quartersscores: 18-19, 41-37, 64-58, 83-80