MANILA, Philippines – Without Marc Pingris manning the paint, Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang took over for the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers down the stretch en route to a 93-90 triumph over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game 4 of the best-of-7 Finals on Friday, February 21 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum to move to a win away from bagging the PLDT Home DSL Cup.
Playmaker Mark Barroca calmly made the final two free throws of the game with 12.4 seconds left to seal the deal and take a daunting 3-1 series lead.
“We’ve been fortunate again,” said Mixers head coach Tim Cone. “Every game has gone down to the wire, last possession and we got two of those.”
The Mixers got the win despite losing veteran Marc Pingris in the 5-minute mark of the third as he went down holding on to his right eye, which JR Quiñahan hit in a rebound play. Pingris never returned to the game.
In his absence it was the rookie Sangalang who stepped up, contributing 17 points along with 8 boards.
“We won the battle today but I hope we didn’t lose the war with Ping, he looked pretty badly injured,” Cone said.
San Mig Coffee built a 6-point 90-84 lead with 1:33 left in the game thanks to a shot by Sangalang. It appeared to be the dagger but Paul Lee hit a quick triple off the timeout to make it just a 3-point game, 87-90.
A series of furious rallies ensued as both teams muffed what would normally be easy baskets. Quiñahan then split from the line, 88-90, with 43.2 seconds remaining as Sangalang followed suit with a freebie, 88-91, with 22.1 ticks left.
The Mixers managed to hang on despite blowing their 10-point halftime lead (52-42) behind the third quarter explosion of Rain or Shine led by Lee.
Lee, who poured 23 points in Game 3, attempted to send the game to overtime with a good look from rainbow country as time expired but the ball went halfway in before bouncing back out. The speedy guard waxed hot once again for 28 points in another losing cause.
"It's a tough loss but we're not giving this series up until it's over." – Yeng Guiao #rstream #PBAFinals #pba2014 pic.twitter.com/8Y2Ownnn5w— Jane Bracher (@janebracher) February 21, 2014
Game 5 will take place on Sunday, February 23 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig Coffee (93): Barroca 17, Sangalang 17, Yap 17, Devance 12, Simon 12, Melton 7, Pingris 6, Mallari 3, Reavis 2, Gaco 0.
Rain or Shine (90): Lee 28, Quinahan 11, Belga 10, Norwood 10, Cruz 8, Almazan 6, Chan 6, Tiu 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Tang 0, Nuyles 0, Teng 0, Rodriguez 0.
Quarter scores: 26-27, 52-42, 70-76, 93-90
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