San Mig Coffee pulled off a masterful 78-68 win against undermanned Barangay Ginbera San Miguel to share the second spot with two other teams in the finale of a rare triple-header in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday before 19,718 fans at the jampacked SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Coffee Mixers found the right mix early in the game, while the Gin Kings never found its rhythm to absorb their fifth straight defeat after starting the tournament with back-to-back wins.
The win shoved San Mig Coffee into a triple tie for the No. 2 position in the standings with Rain or Shine and the streaking Alaska with identical 5-2 win-loss records.
Joe Devance fired a game-high 18 points, including back-to-back three-pointers that helped the Mixers pull away. They erected their biggest lead at 73-51 with 7:30 remaining in the game.
Ginebra never had a serious run since.
James Yap added 14 points while Peter June Simon and Marc Pingris contributed 13 and 11, respectively, for San Mig Coffee.
“We played a great defensive game plan. There were times that Ginebra could shoot us on the foot but they missed lay-ups. Their layups won’t fall and it happens when you lose some games,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
“We did play good defensively, although [we got] a little sloppy in the fourth. But we’re sharp defensively.”
Already without Kerby Raymudo (flu), Ginebra lost another player in Dylan Ababou in the first half due to a suspected torn ACL. Gin Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen did not utilize Jayjay Helterbrand (hamstring) and Allein Maliksi (ankle injury) who were also nursing injuries in the game.
It is Ginebra’s longest losing streak since dropping five straight in the elimination round of the 2009 Fiesta Conference.
Mark Caguioa led the Gin Kings with 16 points while LA Tenorio and Chris Ellis added 12 and 11, respectively.
SA NMIG COFFEE 78 – Devance 18, Yap 14, Simon 13, Pingris 11, De Ocampo 7, Barroca 6, Reavis 4, Villanueva 3, Intal 2, Gonzales 0.
GINEBRA 68 – Caguioa 16, Tenorio 12, Ellis 11, Jensen 8, Mamaril 7, Maierhofer 6, Cortez 6, Ababou 2, Espiritu 0, Wilson 0, Hatfield 0.
Quarters: 15-8, 41-29, 61-45, 78-68
» Ginebra veterans Caguioa, Helterbrand proud of team’s effort in opener: ‘Never-say-die isn’t dead’
» Ginebra players hoping for chance to face Kia’s Manny Pacquiao
» Twin towers Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter lead Ginebra in opening day rout of Talk ‘N Text