SAN Mig coach Tim Cone couldn’t hide his excitement for finding yet a gem of an import in James Mays.
Only two games into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Mays showed what he’s capable of following his monster game of 29 points and 29 rebounds in the Mixers’ 90-80 win over Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.
They Said It!
“(James Mays) doesn’t sit there, like give me the ball, and go clear out. But he’s a really good passer. He should work well with our system." San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone
More than the impressive stats line, the 6-foot-8 Mays provided the energy, hustle, and unselfish plays for the team - all attributes that readily endeared him to Cone at the end of the game.
“He’s well-versed (with the triangle offense). He’s certainly not a ‘swapang’ (selfish) guy because he goes and gets the ball,” Cone said, mentioning the numerous intangibles Mays has brought to the team.
“He doesn’t sit there, like give me the ball, and go clear out. But he’s a really good passer. He should work well with our system,” he added.
Asked how Mays measures up to San Mig’s two recent imports in Denzel Bowles and Marqus Blakely, both of whom gave the franchise a championship each, Cone said the energetic import could be a cross between the two.
“That's probably an apt description. He (Mays) doesn’t have the offense of Denzel, and he doesn’t have the athleticism of Marqus, but he has the great motor of Marqus and the likeability of Denzel with his teammates,” said the San Mig mentor, who just last month, became the all-time winningest coach in the pro league after steering the Mixers to the Philippine Cup championship for his 16th title.
Bowles, the 6-foot-10 American import, who currently plays with the Jilin Northeast Tigers in the Chinese league, led the Mixers to the Commissioner's Cup title in 2012.
Blakely, on the other hand, helped the Mixers win the Governors Cup crown last season.
Still, Cone said he doesn’t want to get caught up with the hype at the moment.
With seven more games to go in the single-round eliminations, San Mig will have to keep working since the Mixers will next face Rain or Shine on Saturday in a rematch of the Philippine Cup Finals protagonists