ENERGETIC import James Mays is just grateful for the trust and confidence given to him by coach Tim Cone and the entire San Mig team despite a relatively unimpressive debut in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
So in return, he did them a big favor by erupting for 29 points and 29 rebounds in a rousing 90-80 win by the Mixers over Barangay Ginebra in their Sunday showdown at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Mays previously had a quiet 15 points and six rebounds in the Mixers’ first game of the conference, a 91-75 drubbing of Globalport in a game that saw him got into foul trouble.
“I’m just glad they had a lot of confidence on me. And for me, all I had to do was play hard and everything fell into place,” he said after his monster game.
“I was kinda down the last game because I wasn‘t able to perform the way I wanted to,” Mays admitted. “But we got the win, that’s all that matter.”
San Mig coach Tim Cone was all praise for Mays that during his post-game interview, he dubbed Mays as “Mr. Everywhere,” owing to his strong motor skills that allows him to go for the loose ball and grab every rebound possible.
To which Mays replied: “That’s a great compliment coming from coach. They got a lot of good imports come here before me.”
Still, Mays deflected the credit to his San Mig teammates.
“I just tried to play hard, but I owe it all to my teammates because they encouraged me in practice, and lately, pushing me more because they knew what I can do,” said a beaming Mays.
The 28-year-old Mays’ 29-point rebound effort is just one shy of tying the conference-high 30 boards recorded by Talk ‘N Text import Richard Howell registered during the Tropang Texters’ 85-72 win over Alaska on opening day.