MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee kept its finals hopes alive by outhustling Rain or Shine, 79-67, in Game 5 of their best-of-seven semifinals on Saturday’s PBA Philippine Cup.
Marc Pingris’ double-double effort helped the Mixers overcome the Painters and cut their series deficit to 2-3.
The 6’5” forward had 18 points on 7 out of 10 field goal shooting and collared 10 a total of 10 rebounds to make up for their listless performances in their past semis games.
“Nag-usap kami ni coach [Tim Cone] kahapon na every game talagang kailangan ibuhos namin ang 100% namin. Kailangan every game panatayan namin ‘yung energy ng Rain or Shine kung ‘di talagang maiiwan kami,” said Pingris during the post game interview.
Joe Devance topscored the Mixers with 20 points, while Peter June Simon added 16.
Armed with a series lead of 3-1 going to Game 5, the Painters planned on closing out the semis and marching on to the Philippine Cup finals.
But the Mixers matched their play and posted a slim 31-29 advantage at the half.
Paul Lee rifled a triple to seize the lead for Rain or Shine, 46-43, but San Mig Coffee regained its composure to surge ahead, 52-50, in the third period.
The Mixers began pulling away in the final quarter where they picked up their pace, 71-62.
Larry Rodriguez managed to chop San Mig’s lead to 67-73 over two minutes left in the game.
But their last hurrah came too late as the Mixers walked away with their second win in the series.
Rodriguez finished with 14 points for Rain or Shine, while Jervy Cruz had 9.
Scoring machine Paul Lee was held down to only 8 points.
San Mig Coffee 79 - Devance 20, Pingris 18, Simon 16, Barroca 11, Reavis 6, Villanueva 3, Gonzales 3, Yap 2, Intal 0.
Rain or Shine 67 - Rodriguez 14, Cruz 9, Lee 8, Ibanes 8, Matias 7, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Quinahan 4, Tang 3, Chan 3, Tiu 2, Arana 0.
Quarters: 17-15, 31-29, 52-50, 79-67