San Mig Coffee's James Yap fires one against TNT's Jayson Castro. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – "Big Game" James Yap drilled the go-ahead jumper down the stretch to knock the wind out of Talk 'N Text and deliver a heart-stopping 77-75 victory for San Mig Coffee in Game 3 of their best-of-5 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals series.
The Texters were up 75-71, when Best Player of the Conference Jayson Castro rifled a triple for Talk 'N Text's 4-point lead. But the Mixers’ James Mays came up with a 3-point play that pulled San Mig Coffee closer, 74-75, with just over a minute left in the game.
After Castro missed a 3-point attempt, Yap, who finished the game with 13 points, connected on a teardrop shot that pushed the Mixers ahead, 76-74, with 28 seconds to go.
Ranidel de Ocampo lost the ball while desperately attempting to claim the lead back for the Texters.
Joe Devance then split his free throws to peg the final scores and bring San Mig Coffe to just a win away from the Commissioner’s Cup title.
Before the decisive run in the payoff period, San Mig Coffee figured in 10 deadlocks with Talk ‘N Text.
“[It’s a] game for the ages, in my book. Two real proud teams that don’t quit, keep fighting,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the PBA website. “It was a tremendous game. One big shot after one big shot.”
Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said they will have to move on from the loss and prepare for a tougher match in Game 4.
The Texters will have to double their efforts in the next match as the Mixers now have a 2-1 lead.
“It was a hard-fought game and my guys certainly put in the effort. We just have to put this one behind us, get ready for the next game,” said Black.
The Talk ‘N Text coach, however, lamented that many calls went in favor of the Coffee Mixers. He said the Texters were called for a total of 21 fouls, a lot more than San Mig Coffee’s 13.
“I just hope that the game is governed well to give us a fair chance of winning,” said Black. “I just think the contacts should be called evenly on both ends. If you call a foul on one team, the same contact should be called on the other end. “
PJ Simon had 17 points for the Coffee Mixers, who also got 10 from Devance. Marc Pingris was held to only 7 points but he got a total of 10 rebounds.
San Mig Coffee 77 - Mays 20, Simon 17, Yap 13, Devance 10, Pingris 7, Sangalang 6, Barroca 2, Mallari 2, De Ocampo 0, Reavis 0, Melton 0.
Talk ‘N Text 75 - Castro 21, De Ocampo 18, Canaleta 12, Howell 10, Williams 5, Carey 5, Reyes Ryan 4, Reyes Rob 0, Aban 0, Fonacier 0, Alapag 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 37-35, 60-56, 77-75