Outworked and outhustled all game long, San Mig Coffee saved its best defensive effort for the last six minutes of the game, holding Talk ‘N Text to just a single field goal in completing a come-from-behind 83-82 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.
The Mixers were trailing most of the way and needed one late push to get back on winning track.
They got exactly that in the last six minutes, shutting down the Tropang Texters while unloading a 14-2 run capped by PJ Simon’s short jumper for the final tally.
“We’ve been outworked every game this conference,” San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone said during the post game interview. “It’s been an inconsistent conference for us and the frustrating thing is we all know we have capabilities of reaching great heights, but we’re not doing it, and that frustrates us more.”
San Mig Coffee won its sixth game in 12 games despite not getting much production from James Yap, who only had three points in 26 minutes of play.
Cone explained the reason for his superstar’s struggle.
“He’s been sick the past two days. We also had Rafi Reavis who didn’t practice for 10 days while Alex Mallari didn’t return as his knee was bothering him the past few games until he couldn’t play it through when he went out in the first half. We’re not making excuses, but it’s hard to be consistent when you don’t have a healthy line up,” said Cone.
“But this one is crucial for us not just for the standings, but to get our confidence back.”
In pulling off a comeback win, the Mixers needed a big effort down the stretch, turning what looked like another disappointing loss into a dramatic victory.
“It’s a tough win. We jumped on each other. I don’t know what happened in the last two or three minutes, but we stuck on each other. We don’t expect a pretty win. We have to come out and struggle. When we won the championship last year, everything was a struggle,” added Cone.
SAN MIG COFFEE (83) – Bowles 18, Simon 15, Devance 15, Pingris 11, Barroca 7, De Ocampo 7, Yap 3, Reavis 3, Mallari 2, Gaco 2, Alvarez 0, Najorda 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT (82) – Harvey 19, Castro 17, De Ocampo 13, Reyes 12, Al-Hussaini 8, Fonacier 5, Alapag 4, Aban 2, Carey 2, Gamalinda 0, Peek 0.
Quarters: 23-20, 40-49, 66-65, 83-82.