San Mig Coffee's Marc Pingris (C) is triple-teamed by Danny Seigle, Ranidel de Ocampo and KG Canaleta of Talk 'N Text in the do-or-die game between the Mixers and the Texters Sunday night at the Cuneta Astrodome. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines - San Mig Coffee put to an end to Talk n Text’s record three-year reign as all-Filipino champ and gave itself a shot at second straight finals as the Mixers outworked and outmaneuvered the Tropang Texters at winning time for a 90-82 victory in their do-or-die setto in the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals playoffs at the Cuneta Astrodome last night.
With tremendous grit and spunk, the Mixers put the Texters away at the endgame of a tough nip-and-tuck battle and claimed the right to play the top-ranked Barangay Ginebra Kings in a best-of-seven semifinals beginning with Game One at the Mall of Asia Arena at 8 p.m. tomorrow.
Marc Pingris scored on a good spin move off Ranidel de Ocampo and made the accompanying charity shot as the Mixers shattered the 82-all deadlock with 1:38 left to play.
Mark Barroca then put up a defensive stop on Jason Castro, fed Joe Devance underneath for a big basket and, after another defensive gem, went to the line for two charities sealing their sixth straight Final Four entry.
In advancing to the semis, San Mig kept its hopes of winning a record sixth all-Filipino crown for the franchise and making coach Tim Cone the winningest bench tactician in PBA history. In the last conference, Cone tied Baby Dalupan’s record of 15 championships won.
“We worked hard for it. Our guys worked hard for it. At 1-5 then finishing in the Top Four (in the elims) and making the semis was really an accomplishment,” said Cone.
“Mark (Barroca) played big down the stretch, Rafi (Reavis) came out, Ian (Sangalang) played well and we got a secret weapon tonight in Justin (Melton). We put in a total team effort, something we didn’t have early in the conference,” Cone also said.
Melton, scoring no more than six in each of his first nine games in the pro league, made a big impact in this game in firing away 12 points – all from the three-point land.
“He was really a key for giving us new dimension,” said Cone.
The San Mig bench chieftain also pointed to Talk n Text getting into penalty situation early in the fourth as a major factor. “It changed the game for them. They couldn’t pressure us anymore,” Cone said.
Holding Talk n Text scoreless in the last 2:23, San Mig pulled through on an 8-0 closing run.
Ranidel de Ocampo, KG Canaleta and Castro provided the firepower as the Texters engaged the Mixers in a furious battle until they faded away in the crunch.
Canaleta’s last of three triples in the night gave Talk n Text its last taste of the lead at 75-74, and De Ocampo’s last of four treys tied the game for the last time at 82-all.
Then the Mixers finished with a vicious attack setting up their first best-of-seven playoff duel with the Gin Kings in 17 years.
“I’m stoked, pumped-up playing Ginebra,” said Cone.