San Mig Coffee's PJ Simon gets past Air21 defenders. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee maintained its hold on solo third and kept its twice-to-beat hopes in the quarterfinals alive at the expense of Air21 in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
The Mixers rode on an impressive 32-point output in the third quarter en route to a 91-84 win over the Express.
San Mig Coffee coach Tim coach praised his team's cohesion in the third quarter, which was perhaps their best in their last 3 games.
“We played with a lot more togetherness and connection in the third quarter,” said Cone in the league’s official website. “We connected more than we have been in the last games. Coming out of halftime, we had a better sense of urgency. That’s what we’ve been lacking in the last couple of games.”
The Mixers needed the win especially after suffering back-to-back defeats to Talk ‘N Text and Barako Bull prior to the PBA All-Star break.
Peter June Simon had a big game for San Mig Coffee, tallying 20 points.
Import James Mays topscored for the Mixers with 23 point to go with his 15 rebounds. Marc Pingris and Joe Devance chipped in 12 and 11, respectively.
Air21 was trailing San Mig Coffee by only 44-45 behind the efforts of Wesley Witherspoon and Sean Anthony in the first half.
But the Mixers blasted the Express in the third quarter for a 72-66 advantage going to the payoff period.
Witherspoon finished the game with 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Anthony, who scored 14 of his 19 points in the first two quarters, could not keep up in the second half.
The Mixers improved to 4-2 and will next face sister team San Miguel Beer, which stands at second with 5-2.
Air21, on the other hand, fell into a tie with fellow sixth-placers Barangay Ginebra and Meralco with their identical 3-4 records.
San Mig Coffee 97 – Mays 23, Simon 20, Pingris 12, Devance 11, Yap 9, Sangalang 8, Barroca 6, Cawaling 3, Melton 3, De Ocampo 2, Gaco 0, Reavis 0.
Air21 84 – Witherspoon 27, Anthony 19, Yeo 11, Cardona 10, Villanueva 5, Borboran 4, Taulava 4, Burtscher 2, Camson 2, Ramos 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 45-44, 77-62, 97-84.