Give Round One of the Tim Cone vs Jeffrey Cariaso showdown to the teacher.
Cone, the most successful coach in PBA history, won his first match against his longtime player and understudy as Marqus Blakely ran riot in a fourth-quarter blitzkrieg that enabled San Mig to deal Ginebra its first loss in the PBA Governors Cup, 102-90, on Sunday night.
Blakely, the reigning Best Import in the season-ending conference, finished with 34 points, 17 rebounds, and six steals in a see-sawing game he personally turned into a rout in the fourth period before a crowd of over 17,000 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-4 workhorse went to work with the count still too close to call at 82-79 at the final seven-minute mark, scoring on an assortment of drives, jump hooks, and fastbreak baskets while a full-court press forced Ginebra to one turnover after another.
Blakely punctuated that scoring explosion with an alley-oop dunk with 2:50 left that made it 96-81, sealing San Mig's fourth win in five games in the final tournament of the season.
San Mig ended up outscoring Ginebra, 32-20, in the final period as they sent the Gin Kings tumbling to their first loss in their four games under Cariaso, who took over from Ato Agustin at the start of the tournament.
Mark Caguioa scored a team-high-tying 18 points, including two on a jumper that gave the Kings their last taste of the lead at 79-78 with seven minutes and 29 seconds still on the clock.
But the fan favorites were held scoreless for more than four minutes by San Mig's suffocating defense as the Mixers scored 16 unanswered points behind Blakely.
The Mixers forced the Kings to 20 errors which they translated to 19 turnover points.
Ginebra ended the drought with an LA Tenorio running jumper that made it 81-94 with 3:24 left. The Kings failed to come closer than 12 points after that.
San Mig 102 - Blakely 34, Simon 19, Barroca 11, Maliksi 9, Devance 8, Pingris 8, Yap 8, Sangalang 4, Reavis 1, Mallari 0.
Ginebra 90 - Mason 18, Caguioa 18, Aguilar 12, Slaughter 11, Tenorio 11, Ellis 6, Helterbrand 5, Monfort 5, Reyes 2, Mamaril 2, Baracael 0, Ababou 0.
Quarterscores: 26-25, 47-50, 70-70, 102-90