A DESPERATE San Mig Super Coffee could not bear the view from the bottom anymore, hacking out a 92-83 double-overtime victory over Air21 to finally barge into the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In a battle of winless teams, the undermanned Mixers simply showed more desire to win in a grueling matchup as they bucked the absence of key players James Yap and Joe Devance to leave the Express alone in the cellar.
“We just needed to win. That’s just the bottom line,” said Mixers coach Tim Cone, whose team won for the first time in four starts, or since the squad captured the Governors’ Cup crown. “We didn’t care whether it was an ugly win or a beautiful win.”
Marc Pingris and Mark Barroca delivered as usual, but it was prized rookie Ian Sangalang who provided the late spark for the Mixers in the first double-overtime game in the league in two years.
The Mixers also spoiled the Air21 debut of Macmac Cardona, who came through in stretches as the Express led most of the way but failed to make the necessary stops down stretch.
Pingris finished with a double-double of 15 points, 12 boards, four assists, one block, and one steal, while Barroca had 19 points, eight assists, three steals, and one block.
Sangalang, the second overall pick in this year’s Draft, scored eight of his 14 points in the second overtime as he took advantage of the absence of Asi Taulava, who fouled out just 15 seconds into the same period.
“Fortunately Asi fouled out and left the middle open for us and Ian just got going at that point,” said Cone, who also got a lift from Alex Mallari and returning PJ Simon.
Two of Mallari’s 12 points were from the right-side mid-range jumper that forced the first extra session, while Simon, in his first game back from an Achilles injury, was the sixth Mixer in double figures with 11.
Taulava, the PBA’s oldest player at 41, played 44 minutes and came up with 11 boards, five assists, and four points in a supporting role for Joseph Yeo and KG Canaleta.
Yeo fired all but three of his 21 points in the first three quarters where the Express were still on top, while Canaleta added 20 markers, including three pressure-packed free throws that forced the second overtime.
San Mig Super Coffee 92 – Barroca 19, Pingris 15, Reavis 15, Sangalang 14, Mallari 12, Simon 11, Acuna 3, Cawaling 3, De Ocampo 0, Gaco 0, Holstein 0
Air21 83 – Yeo 21, Canaleta 20, Manuel 14, Cardona 13, Camson 6, Jaime 5, Taulava 4, Espiritu 0, Arboleda 0, Sharma 0, Custodio 0, Atkins 0
Quarters: 11-20, 30-35, 47-50, 69-69, 79-79, 92-83