PETER June Simon has been delivering quality play in limited playing time this conference, and he credited coach Tim Cone for managing the players' minutes well.
Although he admits fatigue is fast catching up on him, Simon had the strength to deliver the telling blows in the final period to lead the Mixers to an easy 108-90 blowout win against winless Meralco Bolts on Tuesday.
The key has been good player rotation, and Simon is pleased Cone has cut down the minutes of the team’s starters for them to be able to deliver in crucial moments in the preliminaries and still be strong enough for the playoffs.
“Feeling ko mina-manage ni coach kasi sobrang burned out na kami,” said Simon, who played 19 quality minutes on Tuesday.
The Mixers were stretched to five games in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals by Air21, won the title in four games against Talk N Text, and began their Governors’ Cup campaign less than a week later.
That was their third straight title counting the last conference of the previous season. Now with two wins in three outings, Simon feels they are on track.
“Masaya ako kapag ganito (reduced playing time) kasi after the game, fresh pa rin ako pag-uwi sa bahay,” added the 33-year-old San Mig star with a smile.
“Si coach na ang bahala dun sa playing time. Alam naman niya ginagawa niya saka sabi niya eh tingnan namin ang big picture,” added the native of Makilala, North Cotabato.
Simon, who averaged 35 minutes per game during the recent playoffs, has played 26 minutes during the Mixers’ first three games this conference.
But the one-time PBA All-Star MVP, known for his one-handed floaters, still averages an efficient 15.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the tournament to help the Mixers to a 2-1 win-loss record.
San Mig, which is bidding to become just the fourth team in PBA history to win a grand slam, shoots for its third win on Friday when it tangles with Globalport.