Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska
Game Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m. – Talk ‘N Text vs San Mig Super Coffee
Manila, Philippines – San Mig Super Coffee moved a win away from advancing to its fourth straight finals appearance as it downed Talk ’N Text, 93-85, in Game 2 of the PLDT Home Telpad Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup semifinal series last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Expecting a big comeback from their opponent, the Mixers raced to a big lead thanks to Joe Devance before staving off several rallies by the Tropang Texters in the second half to gain a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Import Marqus Blakely finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Devance also scored 19 points, while Mark Barroca came off the bench to add 13 markers as San Mig can wrap up the series with a win tomorrow.
A victory will give San Mig its 26th finals appearance since entering the league in 1988 as Purefoods.
Cone is eyeing his 28th finals appearance and a chance to hurdle the last obstacle of San Mig’s bid the league’s fourth Grand Slam.
Cone’s team was dominant on both ends of the floor, connecting 33-of-74 shots (44.6%) from the field while holding down TNT to 29-of-82 (35.4%).
The Mixers also controlled the rebounding department, 55-44, and had 12 shot blocks, including three each from Blakely and Pingris.
“It seemed like we were in control pretty much the whole game until the end of the third quarter,” said Cone.
“But we were fighting the whole time because we knew they’d going to come back. The guys kept their poise and they were able to pull it out. But it’s only two (wins), we need another one,” added Cone.
San Mig led by as many as 20 points, 42-22, on a pair of foul shots by Pingris midway in the second quarter, but TNT cut the deficit to 47-34 at halftime.
TNT narrowed the gap to 64-59 entering the final frame, but San Mig used a 10-2 run to take a 74-61 advantage.
Talk ’N Text import Paul Harris finished with a game-high 33 points, but found little support from his teammates, with Jayson Castro the other Texter in double figures with 12.
Meanwhile, Alaska shoots for a 2-0 advantage when it battles Rain or Shine in Game 2 of their five-game semifinal series today at 6 p.m. also at the Big Dome.
The Aces took the series-opener with a come-from-behind 97-93 victory Friday night as import Henry Walker torched the Elasto Painters with 31 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
The win avenged Alaska’s 51-point defeat to Rain or Shine (123-72) last June 4. It also extended the Aces’ win streak to five while ending the Painters’ six-game run.
Alaska rookie Coach Alex Compton is bracing for a big Rain or Shine comeback.
“I know I’m new with this job as head coach, but I’ve been in the league for quite sometime now so I know winning Game 1 doesn’t win you a series. We still need to win two more,” said Compton.
Versatile forward Gabe Norwood is a doubtful starter for the Painters after he sprained his right ankle early in the fourth quarter of Game 1. Norwood missed the remainder of the contest and didn’t practice yesterday. (Waylon Galvez)