FOR San Mig Coffee forward Marc Pingris, nothing beats experience especially under the grinding pressure of a do-or-die Game Seven.
Pingris believed the Mixers’ vast experience made the big difference in their 110-87 rout of top seed Barangay Ginebra Kings in their winner-take-all duel for the last Finals berth of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the bursting Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers came through in the most important game of the best-of-seven series after shooting a high 60 percent from the field, while putting the clamps on a Kings side team that can’t seem to get going despite being energized by the pro-Ginebra crowd that made up the all-time league high of 24,883 live gate attendance.
“Sa practice, kinausap ko si Mark (Barroca), sabi ko sa kanya, dito naman tayo magaling at may experience na tayo sa ganitong laro (Game Seven),” Pingris recalled. “So focus lang kahit alam natin kanila (Barangay Ginebra) ang crowd.”
The many-time All-Defensive team member came through with an all-around performance of eight points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals while courageously holding his own against Ginebra’s tall frontline of rookie center Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and JR Reyes.
The 6-foot-5 Pingris, however, said the Mixers won’t have much time to savor the Game Seven win since they only have a day to prepare before plunging into action against familiar Finals foe in Rain or Shine on Friday at the start of the best-of-seven title series.
Pingris, though, hopes San Mig could finally put one against coach Yeng Guiao and the Elasto Painters, who beat the Mixers in a gripping seven-game series en route to winning the 2012 Governors Cup championship.
The title turned out to be the Asian Coating franchise’s first-ever in the league since joining the PBA in 2006.
“Dahil kay Lord nandito (Finals) na uli kami, pero may pagkakataon na kami bumawi kay coach Yeng, kasi tinalo nila kami dati sa Game Seven kay Marqus (Blakely),” Pingris said.