MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee head coach Tim Cone praised his players for staying poised despite struggling with injuries and dealing with Talk 'N Text's repeated comeback attempts in Game 2 of their PBA Governors Cup semi-finals series Saturday night.
The Coffee Mixers raced to a quick start and led by as much as 20 points in the first half, but had to weather the Texters’ rallies in the second half to settle for a 93-85 victory. The win brought them to within a game of making the PBA Governors Cup finals.
“We just came out real well and surprised them with our zone to start the game, and kind of got them on their heels," said Cone, as quoted by PBA.ph. "They kind of played on their heels all night. They never really got their rhythm, and never really got their shots going." [http://pba.inquirer.net/46948/san-mig-super-coffee-up-2-0]
Cone admitted that he felt nervous every time a TNT player hoisted a triple, only to breathe a sigh of relief when the shot rimmed out or went long.
"It was just one of those nights where their shots weren’t falling," he noted.
The Texters were able to cut the lead to five points in the third quarter, but San Mig was able to fend them off with an 8-0 blast to start the fourth.
"We were fighting ourselves the whole time, because we really knew that in any moment, they're going to make a huge run on us," said Cone. "And they did – they got back from 20 down to five."
"But we got a response for them every time, and the guys kept their poise and we pulled it out," he added.
Cone also commended his younger players including Alex Mallari, Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang for stepping up to the plate anew, as both James Yap and Peter June Simon struggled with injuries throughout the game.
"We got a lot of guys," Cone said, noting that Joe Devance was "incredible all night long on both sides of the floor."
"We got a lot of help from a lot of people tonight," he said. "hat’s been the story of our team this whole year. We get it off from a lot of different sources."
Simon played through back spasms and Yap also had trouble with his foot, but both guards played and managed to combine for 17 points. Big man Marc Pingris also sprained his ankle during the game, said Cone.
"We'll just struggle through it," Cone said of their injury woes.
San Mig Coffee can wrap up the series on Monday.