FAILURE to execute down the stretch and some defensive lapses cost San Mig Super Coffe Game One of its PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against Air21 Tuesday night, import James Mays said.
Mays noted how the Mixers, who led by as much as 10 points, allowed the Express to score 37 points in the final period, leading to the king-size 103-100 upset at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We just stopped executing and not doing what we do best,” the 6-foot-8 Mays told Spin.ph after his 13-point effort in the final quarter went down the drain as his last-second three-point heave missed its mark.
“Defensively, we allowed them (Express) to get a lot of easy shots, myself included, especially letting the big fella (Asi Taulava) get a layup,” he added.
Mays finished the game with an all-around effort of 27 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, five steals, and two blocks in 40 minutes of play.
The former NBA D-League standout though had his hands full defending the veteran Taulava, who came away with 14 points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
In the end, Mays, who had a heated exchange of words with the 41-year-old Taulava late in the first half, only had kind words for the rejuvenated big man, describing him as a “fierce competitor."
“He’s (Taulava) a good player. He’s smart and he may not be as quick as he used to, but he’s been playing ball for a long time,” said the hard-banging San Mig reinforcement.
“He’s a very strong competitor and I’m looking forward to the battle.”
Game Two is set on Labor Day with Air21 shooting for a pivotal 2-0 series lead against San Mig, champions of the league’s last two conferences.