|Petron import Elijah Millsap (C) struggles to hold on to the ball as he is double-teamed by San Mig's Marqus Blakely (R) and Mark Barroca (L) in Game 5 of the PBA Governors Cup FInals. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images.
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The San Mig Coffee Mixers are now just one victory away from claiming the PBA Governors Cup crown after beating the Petron Blaze Boosters in Game 5, 114-103, Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Import Marqus Blakely provided his usual numbers, but it was young guard Mark Barroca who shone the brightest for San Mig Coffee as they took a crucial 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After falling behind by 12 points, 34-46, in the second period, Barroca and Blakely powered San Mig’s charge in the second and third quarters to seize control of the contest. It was a Barroca lay-up off an assist from Blakely that allowed San Mig to tie Petron, 54-54, going into the halftime break.
Blakely and Barroca then hit back-to-back triples, followed by a fastbreak bucket from PJ Simon, as San Mig seized a 78-69 lead in the third quarter. They led by seven, 87-80, entering the final period.
Petron import Elijah Millsap, who scored a game-high 37 points, tried to lead the Boosters at the start of the fourth quarter, going coast-to-coast for a lay-up and then drilling a triple as Petron came to within two points, 89-91.
The Boosters could not come any closer, however, as Yancy de Ocampo splashed three consecutive jumpers from the elbow that negated Millsap’s baskets. The Mixers would go on to lead by 14 points after Barroca assisted Simon on a three-pointer that made it 108-94 with 4:45 to go.
Petron showed their ability to score in bunches at that point, as Millsap’s trifecta touched off an 8-0 run that made it a six-point game with still 3:17 remaining.
It was James Yap who came to the rescue for San Mig, scoring five straight points that pushed the lead back to double-digits with two minutes remaining. His one-handed jumper with 2:06 left effectively closed the door on Petron’s comeback as the Blaze Boosters would not score a field goal the rest of the way.
Barroca finished with a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 assists, while Yap added 14 markers. Both players also showed exceptional defense in Game 5, with Barroca defending Millsap in key stretches, while Yap was instrumental in forcing Petron to waste several seconds with still over a minute left in the game.
JuneMar Fajardo had 23 points for Petron, while Ronald Tubid scored 12 points. But the Blaze Boosters continue to badly miss the services of season MVP Arwind Santos, who scored only two points in the game and was on the bench for most of the second half after being called for a flagrant foul early in the third quarter.
The Coffee Mixers can clinch the Governors Cup crown on Game 6, which will be held on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
SAN MIG 114 - Blakely 30, Barroca 22, Simon 17, Yap 14, De Ocampo 10, Pingris 9, Mallari 5, Devance 5, Acuna 2.
PETRON - Millsap 37, Fajardo 23, Tubid 12, Lutz 10, Lassiter 9, Lanete 5, Cabagnot 5, Santos 2, Kramer 0, Hubalde 0.
Quarters: 21-18, 54-54, 87-80, 114-103