Coffee Mixers clobber E-Painters to tie series

Disgusted with his team’s Game 1 performance last Wednesday, San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone didn’t even bother to talk to the Mixers and just headed straight home.

Two days after, James Yap and Co. bounced back big time, leaving their multi-titled coach thrilled no end.


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Showcasing what Cone described as a “picture perfect second half,” San Mig Coffee gave Rain or Shine a dose of its own medicine, cruising to a masterful 106-82 victory Friday night to tie their semifinals series at one-game apiece in the PBA Philippine Cup at the MOA Arena.

A former two-time MVP, Yap played through pain and dished out his usual scoring juggernaut, sizzling with a game-best 34 points, including seven triples, and 10 boards while getting enough support to help the Mixers recover from an 83-91 setback in the series opener.

Yap, who struggled with just 11 points on a horrendous 3-of-13 shooting the last time out, quickly redeemed himself, firing away 16 big points that ignited the Mixers’ huge 37-point third-quarter output, enough to turn a 38-40 deficit into a whopping 75-62 edge.

Joe DeVance also scattered 12 points during that decisive stretch and finished with 17 points, the same output of guard Mark Barroca, who also had eight assists and seven rebounds for San Mig Coffee, which collectively shot a splendid 40-of-79 (50.6 percent) from the field.

“We played a big second half–a picture perfect second half,” noted Cone, whose charges outscored their rivals 68-42 in the pivotal second half. “We shortened our rotation tonight and put the pressure on James, PJ (Simon) and Marc (Pingris) to play extra minutes tonight. We went to a smaller lineup and we got a lot of match-ups that we wanted.”

Larry Rodriguez and JR Quinahan tallied 12 points each to lead the E-Painters, but ace gunners Jeff Chan and Paul Lee bore the brunt of the Mixers’ suffocating defense.

After combining for 33 points, eight boards and six assists in Game 1, the dynamic Rain or Shine duo was limited down to just 17 points on 5-of-22 shooting.

Making matters worse, RoS coach Yeng Guiao got ejected at the 4:06 mark of the third where San Mig Coffee started to pull away, leading 64-52.

Instead of pointing to his charges’ woeful outing, Guiao blasted the officiating, saying: “I guess we just got frustrated with the calls and we felt that they were allowing too much contact against us while we couldn’t defend them with the same amount of contact that they were giving us. ‘Yun pinag-umpisahan ng lahat. From there, San Mig coffee got their confidence in their offense.”

“I just couldn't understand the calls. The league's job is to correct the officiating, di namin trabaho yun. We'll correct some things but we cannot correct the refs. Tabla lang naman ngayon. Basically it's a mental breakdown on our part cased by frustration on the officiating,” he added.

Curiously, the Painters took control early on and even enjoyed a big 27-16 off a Beau Belga triple but the Mixers kept hot on their heels before staging a breakaway rally in the third.

DeVance and Simon took turns in igniting that decisive rally before Yap stoked the fire as San Mig posted its initial big lead at 67-52 with 3:51 left in the third.

The Painters never got their bearings back from there and the Mixers continued to pour it on, leading by as many as 105-80 off an Aldrech Ramos trey, virtually sealing the deal.

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