PBA: Simon leads San Mig over miserable-performing TNT

MANILA, Philippines - Peter June Simon contributed 20 points as San Mig Coffee feasted on Talk 'N Text's miserable showing to notch game 1 with a 90-83 victory in their best-of-3 quarterfinals in the PLDT Home DSL PBA PhiIippine Cup on Tuesday, January 21 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The scoring apostle Simon finished with 20 points on 50% shooting and added 7 rebounds and 3 assists while the Mixers outplayed and outran the Tropang Texters to go 1-0 in the series.

San Mig limited TNT to just 32 points in the first half, and piled their biggest lead at 52-37 in the third period, with Simon getting into the groove.

Talk 'N Text struggled for most of the game, although attempted to salvage the game in the fourth quarter; Ranidel De Ocampo hit a three while Jimmy Alapag sank three free throws that made it a 71-66 game with over 10 minutes to go.

However, that was the closest the Texters could get as San Mig were just a mile ahead of the defending champions on almost every aspect of the game. Marc Pingris' basket with under a minute to play put the Mixers ahead comfortably, 87-76.

"They never got their three point shooting really going and that spelled the difference. That was our concern, being able to go out on their shooters," said Mixers head coach Tim Cone after getting their fifth straight win in the conference.

He is also wary that the Texters are a veteran team and they must find a way to seal the deal.

"We have to figure out how to beat them one more time. They are not gonna lose some games for us. We have to beat them."

Totally outclassed

Talk 'N Text, which had been dominating the quarterfinals for the past three years, started their drive on a bad note and are now facing the verge of elimination.

San Mig did a great job taking care of the 50-50 balls and hustle plays. The Mixers outrebounded their opponents, 55-45, and pulled down 20 offensive boards which turned into 16 second-chance points.

Cone's wards also had 5 steals and 5 blocks against only 3 and 2 for TNT, respectively.

"We hustled well and got a lot of offensive rebounds. Last game they beat us on those things even if we won the game. This time we beat them," said Cone, lauding his boys for the extra energy on hustle stats.

The Mixers also hounded the Texters as the latter finished with just a 35.9% clip from the field.

San Mig will try to close out the series while TNT will try to keep their title hopes alive when both squads lock horns again on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The scores:

San Mig - Simon 20, Devance 12, Barroca 11, Yap 11, Pingris 11, De Ocampo Y. 9, Mallari 6, Sangalang 6, Melton 5, Reavis 0.

Talk'N Text - Castro 24, Seigle 15, Alapag 12, De Ocampo R. 11, Canaleta 8, Fonacier 5, Williams 4, Carey 4, Peek 0, Aban 0, Reyes J. 0, Reyes R. 0.

- Rappler.com