Mixers outlast Express to level series
San Mig Coffee players put up their defense against Air21's Sean Anthony. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee shackled Air21 to tie their semifinals series, 1-1, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday.
The Coffee Mixers avenged their loss in the series opener by building a sizable lead en route to an 82-75 finish over the Express in Game 2 of their best-of-5 duel.
James Mays had a double-double of 25 points and 23 boards for San Mig Coffee, which found itself threatened by Air21 late in the fourth quarter.
Fortunately for the Mixers, they were able to hold down the Express’ Wesley Witherspoon to just 8 points, a far cry from his 25-point performance in Game 1.
San Mig Coffee built a 50-34 halftime lead via a searing 16-3 exchange late in the second canto. The lead went up to 77-57 early in the fourth period, before the Express showed signs of life.
Sean Anthony and Asi Taulava torched the Mixers by unleashing a 13-0 run that pulled the Express within 7 points, 70-77.
But Mays and the rest of the San Mig Coffee squad were able to hold off Air21 with a comfortable 82-73 lead over 3 minutes remaining in the contest.
PJ Simon finished with 13 points, while Justin Melton churned out 12.
Taulava carried the fight for the Express with 21 points and 18 rebounds. Mac Cardona added 20. Anthony, who exploded with 29 markers in Game 1, managed only 8 points.
San Mig Coffee 82 - Mays 25, Simon 13, Melton 12, Devance 10, Pingris 6, Barroca 6, Yap 5, Sangalang 4, Reavis 1, Mallari 0.
Air21 75 - Taulava 21, Cardona 20, Yeo 9, Witherspoon 8, Anthony 8, Borboran 3, Villanueva 2, Ramos 2, Burtscher 2, Poligrates 0, Camson 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20, 50-34, 70-55, 82-75