TALK about the shoe being on the other foot.
San Mig Super Coffee showed up more energized than Rain or Shine, resulting in an 80-70 victory Sunday that evened up their PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup championship series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers were virtually relentless in making the stops that mattered while PJ Simon, Joe Devance, James Yap and Marc Pingris chiefly provided the offensive sock they needed in completing their strong bounce-back from an 80-83 loss in the best-of-seven series opener just two days ago.
The relative ease with which his team pulled out the equalizer astounded even San Mig coach Tim Cone himself.
“Our guys were surprisingly ready,” said Cone. “I thought they might be a little bit tired after Game 1 but we came out strong.”
So tough were the Mixers that only Jeff Chan managed to crack the double-digit barrier for the Elasto Painters with 18 points capped by a buzzer-beating triple that pegged the final count.
In contrast, San Mig had five players in double figures led by Simon’s 15 points. Devance and Yap each added 13, while Pingris finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Even rookie Ian Sangalang got into the act with 10 points.
In all, the Mixers held the E-Painters to just 29-for-78 field shooting and harassed them into committing 12 turnovers from which they drew 10 points.
It was San Mig’s first win in four meetings with Rain or Shine in the conference and took shape early and with practically little trouble.
After missing their first 11 tries from beyond the arc the E-Painters finally found their touch from deep in the second half with six triples that brought them within 36-45 and 51-58, the last opening up the fourth.
The Mixers simply shrugged that off as Pingris strung up five straight points before Sangalang and Devance took charge in an 8-0 surge for the game’s biggest difference at 71-53.
San Mig lapsed into a series of errors in the early goings of the opener, enabling Rain or Shine to take control and pull out the victory through a last second Paul Lee alley-oop.
Not this time.
It was the E-Painters’ turn to commit one miscue after another and, coupled with their anemic shooting, resulted in the Mixers even posting a 37-22 spread before taking a 37-24 lead at the turn.
Rain or Shine’s output equalled the third all-time low for a half in a PBA finals, matching what Barangay Ginebra churned out in Game 1 of the Kings’ Commissioner’s Cup championship series against eventual winner Alaska last year.
Making all that possible was the E-Painters shooting just 10-for-38 from the field coupled with their seven turnovers.
And things looked even bleaker for the E-Painters when Devance and Yap each scored on a layup to start off the third period, stretching the Mixers’ lead to 41-24.
“We didn’t shoot that well in the first half, but we were defending well. We kept strong and kept our poise,” said Cone. (NC)
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