Talk 'N Text's Ryan Reyes and Paul Harris challenge San Mig Coffee's Marqus Blakely. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images
MANILA – Coach Tim Cone is still at a loss on how his team San Mig Coffee managed to beat Talk ‘N Text in Game 1 of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals, 92-88, despite some of their players bailing out down the stretch.
The Coffee Mixers have won three straight titles with little rest in between and this has taken its toll on some of their players.
“We lost PJ [Simon due to back spasms], and then halfway in the third quarter, we lost James [Yap] who hurt his foot,” said Cone in the PBA website.
San Mig Coffee was trailing Talk 'N Text, 64-74, midway the fourth quarter when the Coffee Mixers went on a 12-2 run that knotted the scores 77-all and forced the game to overtime.
“Joe [Devance] left the floor with back spasms in the overtime. We’re just a team of attrition right now, we just have to battle our way in and with the guys we have,” said Cone. “I look at the game and wonder how the heck did we win that game.”
Cone said he was glad to have players who aren’t conscious about getting individual achievements.
It was Allein Maliksi’s triple that sent the game into overtime, while Marc Pingris and Mark Barroca carried the scoring duties during the extra period.
Alex Mallari took the extra effort in defense and their import Marqus Blakely did all work he needed to do to pull off a stunner against the Tropang Texters.
“In the overtime, we just tried to pound the ball inside, and tried to get baskets and fouls and create opportunities for ourselves,” said Cone. “They’re doing a great job just by battling and grinding.”
“Overall, it was a scattered performance for us ’cause we didn’t play real well for probably 36 minutes, but we played good in the last six minutes and in the overtime period.”
San Mig Coffee, the tournament’s defending champion, now has to win two more games in the best-of-5 semis series so they can march back to the Governors’ Cup finals.