San Mig Coffee hands Meralco 4th loss
By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – Defending champion San Mig Super Coffee bucked the ejection of Marc Pingris and rolled to a 108-90 victory over Meralco last night in the PLDT Home Telpad PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Peter June Simon came off the bench to score 22 points, while former Best Import Marqus Blakely added 16 points and 18 rebounds as the Mixers bounced back from Sunday’s 92-90 loss to sister team San Miguel Beer.
Mark Barroca and James Yap added 15 and 13 points, respectively, as San Mig improved to 2-1.
Pingris was tossed with 3:15 left in the second quarter and the Mixers ahead 48-37 when he was assessed with a Flagrant Foul 2 for hitting the Bolts’ James Sena in the stomach with a clenched fist.
The veteran forward said the incident was in retaliation to an elbow to the midsection by Sena off a pick-and-roll situation. Pingris, who has missed a game because of a rib injury, had made all of his 10 points and two rebounds during the first quarter.
“It was a little frustrating first half, we didn’t have the rhythm,” said the Mixers’ coach Tim Cone, adding that the incident involving Pingris was a sign of fatigue and tiredness.
San Mig led 52-46 at the half, and 76-69 after three quarters before outscoring Meralco, 18-6, courtesy of Simon and the returning Allein Maliksi.
The run gave the Mixers a commanding 94-76 with 5:15 remaining in the contest. A fastbreak layup by Blakely gave them their largest lead at 22 points, 100-78, 3:39 to play.
“We get a little ‘pikon’ when fatigue sets in. We’re a very good team. Sometimes it distracts them and it hurts us overall. We have to stay focused and show maturity. One very good character of a team is its ‘bounce-backability’,” added Cone.
Meralco stayed winless at 0-4 record despite the conference debut of returning import Mario West, who replaced the ineffective Terrence Williams.
West, who led Meralco to the semifinals of last year’s Governors’ Cup before losing to San Mig, finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 108 – Simon 22, Blakely 16, Barroca 15, Yap 13, Pingris 10, Maliksi 9, Sangalang 8, Reavis 6, Gaco 4, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Holstein 0, Melton 0.
MERALCO 90 – West 31, Hodge 21, Caram 8, Wilson 7, Sena 6, David 6, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 3, Bringas 2, Ildefonso 0, Timberlake 0, Dillinger 0.
Quarters: 30-23; 52-46; 76-69; 108-90.