PBA: Ginebra eyes comeback against San Mig Coffee in game two tonight

Levi Verora
PBA writer Levi Verora examines game one of the Ginebra-San Mig Coffee semifinals series, and looks at what each team needs to do differently to come out on top in game 2 tonight.

HIGH TOP SHOWING. Joe Devance, who scored 20 points in game one, dishes a pass past Greg Slaughter. Photo by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers will try to follow up on their thrilling 85-83 thrilling win in Game 1 while Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will try to avoid back-to-back losses when the two squads slug it out in round 2 of their best-of-7 Philippine Cup semifinals duel tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

San Mig Super Coffee Mixers (1) vs Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel (0)

GAME 1: San Mig 85, Ginebra 83

What went right for San Mig: The Mixers dominated the boards, 50-43, including 15 offensive rebounds that turned into 11 second chance points. Joe Devance, who is averaging merely 10 points a game this conference, doubled his output in Game 1, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting. More importantly, he scored the crucial steal in the end game that turned into a Mark Barroca game-winner.

What went wrong for Ginebra: The Kings were limited to just 12 points in the second period. They managed to come back after pouring 24 points in the third for a 65-57 lead. However, that lead evaporated in the end as they lost steam.

What they must do to win

San Mig: The physicality of the Mixers’ bigs have taken out the games of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, limiting them to ‘just’ 24 points and 18 rebounds combined, while pushing both towers out of their comfort zones. They should continue limiting Ginebra’s bigs and put different defenders to shackle the twin towers.

Ginebra: The Kings are a step lagging on hustle; they have been outrebounded once again and it seems those 50-50 balls and hustle plays have ended going San Mig’s way. Ginebra should control those departments for extra possessions and limit San Mig’s attempts.

X-Factors

San Mig: Mark Barroca

Barroca struggled all game long with just 5 points on 1-of-8 shooting but sank his only field goal to give the Mixers a win. If he can flash a better performance, things would definitely get better for San Mig Coffee.

Ginebra: Mac Baracael

Baracael had a decent game the last time out, finishing with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and three assists. But he committed a costly error in the end game that translated into a loss. This is a chance to redeem himself and continue performing well.

What this game means: It will be interesting to see how Barangay Ginebra adjusts as far as mental toughness is concerned after sustaining a few losses in weeks. Coach Tim Cone said Game 1 was a lucky win for them, but he knows his boys have the tools to make it 2 in a row. – Rappler.com