Defense will be San Mig's key vs Ginebra, says Yap

By Dennis Gasgonia,

Posted at Jan 31 2014 10:19 AM | Updated as of Feb 01 2014 02:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Defense will be the name of the game for San Mig Coffee when they resume their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal duel against Barangay Ginebra on Friday.

The Mixers, who hold a 1-0 series lead against the Gin Kings, are looking to extend their advantage in Game 2.

"Nakauna na kami sa Game 1, so kelangan pa rin namin maging consistent kami sa defense," said San Mig Coffee's James Yap.

The two-time MVP, who was present during Thursday's launch of sports management firm Virtual Sports Inc., said they expect a tougher grind against the Gin Kings in Game 2.

"Alam naman namin na Ginebra talagang malalaki. Kahit ako nga, lulusot ako talagang palpal eh," Yap said, while referring Ginebra's twin towers Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter. "So kelangan talaga bumawi kami sa defense."

The Mixers took the series opener, 85-83, by engaging Ginebra in a tight game. Down the stretch, San Mig Coffee was able to take advantage of an errant inbound play that resulted to Mark Barroca's game winning shot.

Ginebra's Chris Ellis said they hope not to repeat the same mistake they did in Game 1. He cited that San Mig shooters did much damage from the mid-range area.

"They caught us on mid-range shots so our intention is to closing in on their shooters. We're doing a better job just bringing in our spots defensively, just covering the perimeter," said the 6'5" forward.

He added that they will have to avoid committing costly turnovers and communicate more for an improved defense.

"We had a lot of turn overs int he last game especially towards the end. We had miscommunication on defense so we just emphasize talking to each other to make sure who's got who," said Ellis.

Game time will be at 8 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.