Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs San Mig
For San Mig Coffee, there is no sense crying over spilt milk.
After suffering a heartbreaking 83-80 defeat at the hands of Rain or Shine in Game One of their race-to-four title affair in the PBA Philippine Cup last Friday, the Mixers attempt to get back at the Elasto Painters today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig top gun James Yap shrugged off claims that burnout was the culprit since they were coming off from what appeared to be an energy-sapping seven-game series with Barangay Ginebra.
“Hindi naman sa pagod, pero ganun talaga. Sayang lang may chance sana kami manalo,” said Yap, who turned 31 yesterday. “Move on lang kami, it’s a seven-game series naman. So bawi kami sa Game 2.”
Head coach Tim Cone could not help but sulk over the unfortunate ending in Game One.
“It was a tough loss for me personally, but I think our guys will take heart in the fact that they had their chances to win that game,” said Cone. “We missed 15 free throws and went 1 for 11 from the three-point line and still was in the game at the end.”
Still, Cone praised the Painters for carving out the win although he issued some sort of a warning to their foes.
“Give credit to the ROS defense, but we feel we can play a lot better as the series progresses,” added Cone.
It was Paul Lee, the 2012 top rookie, who shone the brightest as he scored on an alley-oop from a Gabe Norwood inbound pass with under a second to go.
San Mig looked like it was going to run away with the victory after Yap scored back-to-back jumpers to give the Mixers an 80-78 advantage.
But Painters big man Jervy Cruz scored on a putback off a Jeff Chan missed trey with 22 seconds to go.
However, the Mixers still had the chance to win it but Mark Barroca’s short jumper fell short and Rain or Shine called for a timeout courtesy of Lee, who got the rebound and eventually made the game-winner from that brilliant pass from Norwood.
Cone admitted that Guiao simply came up with a winning move that moment.
“I feel really horrible… that was on me,” said Cone, now on his 27th Finals stint, as he took the blame on the team’s loss after the game. “Yeng made a brilliant play, that game was totally on me. Our guys really played hard, they gave us a chance to win it (and) I blew it for them.”
Overall, Rain or Shine made 34-of-78 from the field, while San Mig did 32-of-78 but the Painters had the edge from beyond the arc, hitting six-of-25, compared to the Mixers’ dismal one-of-eleven.
San Mig, however, won the rebounding battle, 55-44, with Pingris collaring 12 boards and Joe Devance added 10 to go with his game-high 17 points. The Painters gave the Mixers 30 free throws but Cone’s squad made just half of it (15). (Waylon Galvez)