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    Yap earns rare praise for defense as depleted San Mig turns back Ginebra

    Sep 8, 2013

    MARK Barroca hit two big baskets late while James Yap shone on both ends of the floor as an undermanned San Mig Coffee hacked out a thrilling 89-86 win over Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors Cup on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Playing minus Marc Pingris and Joe Devance who were both suspended for their involvement in San Mig’s fight-marred 102-88 win over Globalport last week, San Mig turned to Barroca who hit two clutch jumpers at the height of a Ginebra rally that brought it within two in the endgame.

    Marqus Blakely then cut loose for a breakaway dunk to end a 6-2 exchange that opened an 89-83 lead with 1:09 to go and all but sealed the Mixers' third win in six games.

    Yap banged in 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds while playing 37 minutes in the absence of Pingris and Devance, earning praise from San Mig coach Tim Cone for his defense that held Ginebra star Mark Caguioa to 0-of-11 shooting from the floor.

    All six Caguioa points came from the stripe.

    “Probably the best defensive player on the court was James Yap,” said Cone afterwards. “He guarded Gary David the last time and then he guarded Caguioa tonight

    "He did a tremendous job tonight, and I’m really, really proud of him (Yap), that part of his game that was really overshadowed, but he has done a great job,” the multi-titled PBA mentor added.

    The Mixers played steady after a flat start that saw Ginebra open a 12-0 lead, with Yap combining with Blakely to lead the team back to the driver's seat, 43-40.

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    Yap threw up three airballs in the match, two of them successively in the fourth quarter. But he made up for it with a big jumper with the shotclock winding down in the endgame.

    Tenorio kept Ginebra in the fight with import Dior Lowhorn. But the Gilas Pilipinas playmaker couldn’t buy a basket in the final period as Barroca managed to keep in step with him defensively.

    “Mark (Barroca) did a great job at the backcourt. He made up for the absence of Joe. He was steady all night and that was key,” said Cone.

    The Gin Kings fell to 2-4, in a tie for eighth to ninth places with Globalport, which earlier in the night, blew an 18-point lead to drop a heartbreaking 97-98 loss to Barako Bull. 

    The scores:

    San Mig Coffee 89 - Blakely 30, Yap 19, Barroca 10, Simon 10, Maliksi 8, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 4, Mallari 2, Acuna 0, Gaco 0.

    Ginebra 86 - Lowhorn 29, Tenorio 17, Ellis 8, Wilson 7, Baracael 6, Mamaril 6, Caguioa 6, Helterbrand 5, Maierhofer 2, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0.

    Quarterscores: 22-26, 43-40, 66-63, 89-86

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