A REVITALIZED San Mig Super Coffee played with a lot of energy to turn back Rain or Shine, 80-70, and level their PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Finals series at 1-all on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers, who are coming off a tiring seven-game series against Barangay Ginebra and a sorry loss in Game One, looked fresher compared to the Elasto Painters, pushing the ball at every opportunity while holding their rivals to just 24 points in the first half.
San Mig coach Tim Cone dug deep to his bench, getting quality minutes from Alex Mallari, Ian Sangalang and rookie guard Justin Melton to avenge the team’s 80-83 loss in the opener of the best-of-seven series.
“Our guys were surprisingly ready. They kind of surprised me,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone after the team finally cooled down a Rain or Shine team that had won 12 of 13 games dating back to the eliminations.
“I thought they were a little worn after Game One, like ubos. But we came out strong.”
Marc Pingris and Peter June Simon keyed the team’s first-half run, scoring at every turn while adding to the defensive effort that Cone wanted them to play in Game Two.
On the other hand, San Mig’s defense derailed Rain or Shine's usually effective running game, holding the Elasto Painters to just five points in transition.
“Our first group played with a really great energy and the second group defended the heck of everybody,” said Cone.
“We didn’t shoot that well in the first half, but we defended very well. We kept strong and kept our poise because we want to keep this thing to a best-of-five. Now, we’re able to do that,” he added.
Simon led the Mixers with 15 points and Joe Devance added 13 and seven boards while taking advantage of his mismatch with shorter defender Jeff Chan during the game.
James Yap added 13, banging in nine in a critical third period that allowed the Mixers to erect several 17-point spreads.
Chan was the lone bright spot for the Elasto Painters with 18 points, draining four three-point shots.
Game Three is set on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig 80 - Simon 15, Devance 13, Yap 13, Pingris 11, Sangalang 10, Mallari 8, Barroca 4, Reavis 4, Melton 2, Gaco 0.
Rain or Shine 70 - Chan 18, Cruz 8, Norwood 8, Belga 7, Lee 7, Almazan 5, Teng 5, Quinahan 3, Nuyles 3, Tang 2, Ibanes 2, Rodriguez 2, Arana 0, Tiu 0.
Quarterscores: 20-13, 37-24, 58-48, 80-70