MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee's import believes superior defense caused Air21’s downfall in Game Two and leveled their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semis series 1-all.
The 6’8” James Mays had 25 points and 23 boards against Air21, which fell behind by as much as 20 points early in the fourth.
“I knew this was a big game for us. We needed to get this to prove to ourselves that we really need to get back to what we do best which is defense. When we did that at the start of the game, we got a lot of easy buckets. It was a hard fought win and I'm just happy that we came out with the W," Mays said in the league’s official website.
The Mixers made up for their miscues in Game One, where they were outhustled by Sean Anthony and Express import Wesley Witherspoon for a 103-100 victory. In that match, Anthony exploded for 29 points, while Witherspoon added 25.
In Game Two, however, San Mig Coffee was able to contain Anthony and Witherspoon to just 8 points each.
“We got a lot of good stuff coming from our defense. We just got to continue what we're doing, what we do best, which is our defense,” said Mays.
The Mixers import said they cannot afford to blink against the Express, which could bounce back in Game three this Saturday.
He cited that Air21 has a lot of gunners and has a capable leader in Asi Taulava.
“This team (Air21), they have the ability to sneak up on you. They got a lot of shooters, a lot of guys who can penetrate, and the big fella (Taulava), he knows how to lead his team," said Mays.
“It's really tough [playing against him]. He's not a rookie. He's been in the league for a while, so he knows how to play defense and how to play offense. It's tough at times, but at the end of the day, it's the playoffs.”