MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion San Mig Coffee shook off fatigue to see off Barako Bull, 76-66, in their PBA Governors' Cup clash at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Barely days after completing their Commissioner's Cup conquest at the expense of Talk 'N Text, the Coffee Mixers held off the Energy Cola’s fourth quarter fightback and made their first step toward completing a triple crown in the 39th PBA season.
San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, however, said they still have to work on many things, explaining that they only managed to win through defense.
“We certainly didn’t look like a champ team today,” said Cone in the PBA website. “There’s a little bit of disruption in the rotation with Allein [Maliksi] and Marqus [Blakely] coming in. We stayed in the game with our defense.”
PJ Simon led the way for the Coffee Mixers with 17 points, while returning import Blakely added 10 markers and 24 rebounds.
Energy Cola reinforcement Eric Wise had a game-high 25 points, but aside from JC Intal, who scored 17, none of the Barako Bull locals provided double-digit output.
“It’s just a whirlwind for us right now. We’ll sharpen our offense with a little more time,” said Cone. “But I hope we get early wins to finish in the Top Four then get to the playoffs.”
San Mig Coffee 76 – Simon 17, Blakely 10, Yap 9, Maliksi 8, Pingris 8, Devance 6, Sangalang 6, Melton 5, Barroca 3, Mallari 2, Reavis 2.
Barako Bull 66 – Wise 25, Intal 11, Fortuna 7, Lastimosa 6, Najorda 4, Miller 4, Deutchman 3, Jensen 2, Isip 2, Thiele 1, Miranda 1, Wilson 0, Marcelo 0.
Quarterscores: 25-21, 39-34, 58-54, 76-66