SAN Mig Coffee leaned on the second-half brilliance of sophomore guard Andy Mark Barroca as the Mixers pulled off a come-from-behind 92-87 overtime win against sister Petron Blaze to reach the semifinals on their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Barroca, the 5’8” guard out of Far Eastern University who started only because of the absence of Jonas Villanueva, came through with 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and extension period as he helped engineer the Mixers’ huge comeback from an 11-point second-half deficit.
“Talk about being put on the wringer, we’re put in the wringer just with the idea of facing Petron in the quarterfinals. We just want it one and done. We don’t want to give them momentum. It’s such a crucial performance for us to knock them out,” said a relieved San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
The Mixers can finally heave a sigh of relief after exorcising the ghost of their shock exit in this same conference last season, when as top seeds they blew a similar twice-to-beat edge against Powerade in the quarterfinals - only the third No. 1 team to bow out in the first round of the playoffs.
Cone said he was happy to see Barroca play his heart out in the quarterfinal game, hitting the big baskets that allowed the Mixers to claw back successfully from a 46-57 deficit late in the third period.
“They call Mark the Wolverine because he gets knocked out or hit but he still gets up and play. He got hit in Tuesday’s practice but next day, he just got back told me he’ll play. We were shocked,” said Cone.
“He hyperextended his elbow and we thought it might have torn ligament. He was on the ground for 10 or 15 minutes. That was Tuesday. He had a hard time getting up. We thought he’s not gonna play. But he showed up in practice. It was really gruesome if you see that, yet he just started shooting after that,” he added.
Despite struggling in the second half, James Yap managed to lead the Mixers on offense with 23 points, on top of seven rebounds and two steals.
Petron's early exit put to naught a career game by top rookie pick June Mar Fajardo, whocame away with 22 points and 15 rebounds along with three blocks in 35 minutes of play.
Alex Cabagnot added 21 while Lassiter chipped in 16 spiked with four triples before the bad fall in the fourth quarter.
San Mig 92 - Yap 23, Pingris 20, Barroca 15, Devance 12, Simon 12, De Ocampo 4, Ramos 3, Reavis 3, Intal 0, Gonzales 0
Petron 87 - Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 21, Lassiter 16, Santos 13, Washington 8, Lutz 4, Faundo 2, Yeo 1, Lanete 0, Miranda 0, Pena 0
Quarterscores: 17-17, 39-39, 61-63, 79-79, 92-87