PETER June Simon and Mark Barroca stepped up in the absence of ejected forward Marc Pingris in the second half as three-time PBA champion San Mig Super Coffee overwhelmed the woeful Meralco Bolts, 108-90 in their Governors Cup match on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Pingris was slapped with a Flagrant Foul 2 for throwing a punch at Meralco big man James Sena late in the second period but the Mixers hardly wavered, thanks to the many weapons at their disposal.
Simon and Barroca used their quickness and rich championship experience to outwit their defenders during a frenetic second-half scoring rampage that turned a 69-67 count into a 94-75 San Mig spread midway through the fourth period.
Simon led the Mixers with 22 points while Barroca added 15, seven assists and four rebounds as the Mixers bounced back from a heartbreaking 90-92 loss to San Miguel Beermen on Sunday to improve to 2-1 (win-loss).
“It was a little bit of a struggle for us, little bit of frustrating in the first half because we didn’t play with a lot of rhythm,” said coach Tim Cone after San Mig forged a three-way tie for third to fifth places with idle San Miguel and Alaska.
Cone said he had to remind his players to focus on the game, instead of engaging Meralco players in a physical tussle.
“I always tell the players the first sign of fatigue is getting a little bit of pikon, but when they focused quickly on basketball and not get caught up on the little battles, we are a whole new team,” he added.
Defense spelled the difference for the Mixers, who held the Bolts to just 38.3 percent shooting from the field in the game - in complete contrast to their 55.6 percent shooting.
Old hand Mario West returned for a third straight tour of duty for Meralco, but his near triple-double of 31 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists couldn't save the Bolts from dropping to 0-4.
Cliff Hodge added 21 points and 11 rebounds, but gunner Gary David was held to six points while Jared Dillinger went scoreless in 26 minutes of action.
San Mig 108 - Simon 22, Blakely 16, Barroca 15, Yap 13, Pingris 10, Maliksi 9, Sangalang 8, Reavis 6, Gaco 4, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Holstein 0, Melton 0.
Meralco 90 - West 31, Hodge 21, Caram 8, Wilson 7, Sena 6, David 6, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 3, Bringas 2, Ildefonso 0, Timberlake 0, Dillinger 0.
Quarterscores: 30-23, 52-46, 76-69, 108-90