PETRON tries to sustain its winning run as it goes up against sister-team San Mig Coffee in Saturday’s main game of the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Boosters are so far doing good under rookie coach Gee Abanilla, having won their last two games by an average margin of 20.5 points after routing Rain or Shine, 99-84, and then drubbing Air21, 112-86.
They are currently alone at the top with a 3-1 record.
But Abanilla cautioned the Boosters against complacency, saying they haven’t accomplished anything yet at this stage of the tournament.
“Yes, it’s important for us to get wins, pero we want to be really better when the right time comes. Mahirap naman kasing mag-peak kami ng maaga. So again, we need to be consistent,” said Abanilla.
The Petron coach acknowledged the Boosters have the talent to keep up with an equally-talented and championship-caliber squad like San Mig Coffee, but emphasized he wants to see his team play clampdown defense the way it did in its last two outings.
“We really played well as a team. Our defense was okay (in the last two games). No doubt, we have a talented lineup. But of course, talent will just win you games. We need to continue to work together,” Abanilla stressed.
San Mig coach Tim Cone, meanwhile, hopes the Mixers can ride the momentum of a 118-99 win over a depleted Talk `N Text squad last Sunday.
Marc Pingris finally returned to active duty for the Mixers following his stint with Gilas Pilipinas. The 6-foot-5 bruising forward responded by pouring in 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds as he injected energy to the team for its first win after opening the season-ending conference with back-to-back defeats.
Cone is also happy to see star player James Yan regain his shooting touch after finishing 8-of-13 from the field against the Tropang Texters to finish with 21 points.
“For James, two (bad) games doesn’t make a bad shooter and one game doesn’t make him a good shooter. But the best thing that happened to him is he stepped up his energy and he has stepped up his level of play because he’s worked harder in practice,” explained the multi-titled American coach.
An interesting sidelight in the 6:30 p.m. match is the showdown between imports Marqus Blakely of San Mig and Petron’s Elijah Millsap.