THE compact schedule of the PBA's 39th season is slowly taking its toll on San Mig Super Coffee in the Governors Cup playoffs as it draws closer and closer to a grand slam.
While the Mixers managed to pull off a come-from-behind 92-88 overtime win over Talk ‘N Text in Game One of their best-of-five semifinals, the Mixers’ casualties are beginning to pile up.
Already without second-leading scorer Peter June Simon, San Mig lost two-time league MVP James Yap midway through the fourth period of the series opener, before Joe Devance followed suit in the extra five minutes with a bad back.
Simon sat out his second successive game with a back problem, although he was well enough to watch the series opener from the bench in civilian clothes.
“Actually, buti nga nakarating ako dito (in Game One), kasi nahirapan pa rin ako maglakad. May mga movements minsan na nagka-cramps ang lower back ko,” said Simon.
The six-foot Simon, the most consistent player for San Mig this season, has missed the team’s last two practices as he undergoes therapy on his back at home.
“Nung sa game pa lang namin against Rain or Shine, naramdaman ko na pero di ko akalain na kinabukasan, pag-yuko ko, di na ako makagalaw,” he added.
Simon said he will try to join the team’s practice at the Ronac gym on Friday as the Mixers prepare to go for a 2-0 lead against the Tropang Texters.
Meantime, Yap said he heard something pop on his left ring toe, or his fourth toe, while trying to defend Talk ‘N Text gunner Nino Canaleta in the payoff period of Game One.
“Masakit na ito (ring toe) kaya ako nagpalit ng sapatos, yung sa may bandang dulo ng daliri ng paa. Eh kanina pag close out ko kay KG, nasobrahan ng brake kaya nag-pop. Eh masakit, so yung movement ko limited,” explained Yap, who walked out of the team’s dugout with a limp.
DeVance, on the other hand, will try to get some treatment on his back, though he also plans to practice on Friday.
The Mixers are just two wins away from reaching the Finals for a fourth straight conference as they continue their chase for a rare Grand Slam finish this season.