SAN Mig Coffee used a murderous 27-6 run bridging the third and fourth quarter to turn a close contest into a ghastly 93-73 rout of Barako Bull Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The dynamic duo of James Yap and Peter June Simon took turns in puncturing the Energy Cola’s defense, shooting layups, and hitting medium-range jumpers and three-point shots to power the Mixers to their fifth straight win.
“We played our worst defensive game against Barako (in the first round). We gave 27 assists to them and they out-rebounded us by nine. And we won it by the skin of our teeth when Rafi (Reavis) knocked the ball off the rim,” said coach Tim Cone.
“But this is a key win for us as we try to get our momentum going.”
The Mixers improved to 7-2 overall.
Against a Barako Bull team that had recently undergone a coaching change, San Mig Coffee brought along its A-game on defense, most especially in the second half.
The Mixers trailed, 56-57 midway in the third period, before they scored 11 straight unanswered points to suddenly take with them a 67-57 advantage going into the final period.
The Mixers’ defense then held up the rest of the way, challenging every Barako Bull basket while limiting their opponents to just four fastbreak points, and unloading a 14-6 attack to break the game wide-open, 81-63.
“I felt we lacked the energy in the first quarter. The first group didn’t look at pushing the ball hard on the floor. So I thought they (Mixers) came out with a better job in the second half and, then we had a run in the third that broke the game open,” added the multi-titled Cone.
San Mig is currently the league’s top defensive team by limiting the opposition to just 79 points average per game.
The Mixers are now 2-0 against the skidding Energy Cola, whom they narrowly defeated, 92-91 during their first encounter last October 28 following Reavis’ controversial tap out of the ball on Enrico Villanueva’s game-winning shot.
The loss spoiled Bong Ramos’ coaching debut this season for Barako Bull after taking over the job from Junel Baculi on Tuesday.
But the Energy Cola also went into the game handicapped anew after lead point guard Josh Urbiztondo was scratched out of the lineup prior to the game after suffering a hamstring injury.
The absence of Urbiztondo came just as Villanueva was recently relegated to the injury list recently after tearing his ACL last week.
The spate of injuries had the Energy Cola reactivating veteran forward Danny Seigle, who failed to suite up in the team’s last seven games. The Fil-Am finished with nine points, six rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes of play.
Yap, the leagues’ former two-time MVP, came a rebound short of finishing with a double-double as he led the Mixers with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Simon added 20 points, seven boards, and two steals, while Reavis finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
San Mig Coffee (93) -- Yap 22, Simon 20, Reavis 12, Intal 11, Devance 7, Villanueva 5, Barroca 4, Gonzales 4, De Ocampo 4, Ramos 2, Ponferada 2, Pingris 0, Pacana 0
Barako Bull (73) -- Tubid 17, Najorda 10, Yap 9, Seigle 9, Anthony 8, Alvarez 6, Kramer 6, Ballesteros 4, Pennisi 4, Co 0, Marcelo 0, Cervantes 0
Quarterscores: 10-15, 36-36, 67-57, 93-73