SAN Mig Coffee renewed its commitment on both ends of the floor as it repulsed Petron in Game Two, 100-93, that levelled the PBA Governors' Cup Finals at one-game apiece on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
After letting the Boosters unleash a late offensive outburst in Game One, the Mixers made the necessary defensive stops down the stretch this time to make the title series a best-of-five affair.
Game Three is set Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
“We finally knew how hard we had to play to beat this team,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone afterwards.
Newly crowned Best Import Marqus Blakely sustained his solid play with 23 points, 17 boards, six assists, and four steals, while James Yap led the San Mig locals with 17 points, eight boards, and three assists.
Elijah Millsap, coming off a triple-double in the series opener, spearheaded the Boosters’ attack with 31 points and 10 rebounds, but fouled out with still over three minutes in the game.
Arwind Santos, fresh from being named Best Player of the Conference, could only muster four points on 2-of-8 shooting, two assists, one block, and a solitary rebound in 27 minutes.
The Mixers banked on a strong start and maintained a sizeable cushion which grew to as many as 14 points, 74-60, after a PJ Simon triple late in the third quarter.
The Boosters, however, threatened late in the game behind Alex Cabagnot and June Mar Fajardo as they were able to come within 93-96 after a Ronald Tubid turnaround triple off a timeout with nine seconds remaining.
Simon, who scored all but three of his 16 points in the last two quarters, however retaliated with three charities to seal the game.
“After that fourth quarter of Game One, I was beginning to think (Petron) wasn’t gonna lose, so it was good to come out ahead and dictate the tempo,” Cone said.
“They don’t fall behind very often,” added Cone, who is seeking to match legendary mentor Baby Dalupan’s record of most titles with 15. “And I just wanted to see how they would react if we played from ahead rather from behind.”
San Miguel (100) -- Blakely 23, Yap 17, Simon 16, Devance 15, Pingris 11, Barroca 9, Mallari 8, Reavis 1, De Ocampo 0.
Petron (93) -- Millsap 31, Cabagnot 22, Fajardo 16, Lassiter 10, Tubid 5, Santos 4, Miranda 3, Kramer 2, Lutz 0.
Quarterscores: 30-23; 49-44; 74-62; 100-93