PBA Fastbreak: San Mig Coffee’s fast start propels team to win

Enzo Flojo
As the PBA Philippine Cup finals series tightens up, basketball writer Enzo Flojo examines how San Mig Coffee was able to even the series

SAN MIG SUPER PERFORMANCE. Joe Devance of San Mig Coffee puts up a shot over Jeff Chan and JR Quinahan of Rain or Shine. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

San Mig Super Coffee over Rain or Shine, 80-70

The Best: Coach Tim Cone was a little bit surprised his wards came out so energetic, but he certainly didn’t mind the result — a big Game 2 win that evened the Finals series, 1-1. Thanks to the hot start of reliable tow-guard PJ Simon, the Mixers were able to erect an early 14-4 lead that set the tone for the remainder of the match. SMC just played keep-away for the entire game and comfortably pocketed their first W in the best-of-seven affair. Simon shot a total of 7/12 from the field to finish with 15 points on top of 3 rebounds. 

The Worst: Sometimes playing 14 guys can backfire, and, in a way, that’s what we saw with Rain or Shine here. With nobody outside of Jeff Chan playing more than 26 minutes, the Painters weren’t really able to get anybody going. Chan did finish with a game-high 18 points on the strength of 4 triples, but nobody else on the ROS roster tossed in more than 8 markers. What’s worse is that it looks like spitfire guard Ryan Araña might miss Game 3 because of what appeared to be a broken collarbone. This is definitely going to be a big development, since Araña has been effective so far in the conference playoffs. He normed around 10 points and 4 rebounds in the semifinals and scored 6 points in the Painters’ Game 1 win. It looks like young ‘uns Chris Tiu, Alex Nuyles and Jeric Teng will have to step up in his expected absence.

Solid & Steady: Marc Pingris showed, again, why he is such a solid and steady force in the PBA. Ping knocked in 5 of his 9 field goal attempts to finish with 11 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds, handing out 4 assists, and blocking 2 shots. In short, he was everywhere in Game 2, and, as is usually the case when the Gilas forward plays well, the Mixers ended up winning. He had a lot of help from his frontcourt partner, Joe Devance, who can afford to slide to the PF spot against the relatively small ROS frontline. Devance struggled in Game 1, but he made up for it here, scoring 13 points to go along  with 7 boards and 4 dimes. – Rappler.com

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