SAN Mig’s supposed Grand Slam coronation may have been postponed by Rain or Shine’s 88-79 victory on Monday night, but James Yap believes the battle-scarred Mixers still have the edge in the winner-take-all match.
“Siyempre, mahirap pero ang Game Five naman, medyo may experience na rin kami (Mixers),” said the two-time league MVP. “Hopefully, magamit namin yun (experience) this coming Wednesday.”
Yap is right. San Mig's record has been impeccable in do-or-die matches.
The Mixers have won 17 of 21 sudden-death matches since Tim Cone took charge of the team three years ago and are 8-0 in a do-or-die game since capturing the first of their three straight PBA titles in last season’s Governors Cup.
San Mig is also perfect 4-0 in do-or-die Game Fives since the trio of Marc Pingris, PJ Simon and Yap came together under the banner of the former Purefoods franchise.
But if there is one other team which knows how to win these win-or-go-home matches, it is Rain or Shine which is 5-2 (win-loss) when playing with its back against the wall.
Yap admitted that the Mixers wasted a opportunity to close the series after being a step slow in defending the Elasto Painters, who shot 12 three-pointers in Game Four.
It didn’t help that energetic import Marqus Blakely went just 5-of-15 from the foul line, slowing down the Mixers’ furious third-quarter rally from 20 points down.
If San Mig is to win Game Five, Yap said they have to do a better job defending Rain or Shine's gunners.
“Siguro yung consistency sa defense at ma-locate namin yung shooters nila (Ealsto Painters) kasi kung titingnan mo, pumapasok yung tira nila pag nalilibre sila,” added Yap, who finished with just 12 points after shooting an atrocious 3-of-10 overall.