Big Game James saves San Mig Coffee from GlobalPort upset axeWhen the game is on the line, expect big time players to take center stage.
In a battle of two-time Most Valuable Player winners, James Yap and Willie Miller found themselves in a scoring duel at the end of the game between San Mig Coffee and GlobalPort.
In the end, it was Yap who got the job done.
The San Mig Coffee superstar scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth period, all of which came in a key juncture, as the Mixers survived a gritty challenge from the Batang Pier for a come-from-behind 82-78 triumph Wednesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Yap had back-to-back baskets at the low block against the tight defense of Mark Yee, including the go-ahead basket with 40 seconds left that pegged the score at 79-78.
San Mig Coffee forced a stop against Miller in the ensuing possession. Forced to give up a foul, GlobalPort sent Mark Barroca to the charity stripe, where the sophomore guard split his free throws, giving GlobalPort one last chance to win the game or send it into overtime.
GlobalPort rookie forward Vic Manuel had a chance to tie the count but flubbed his short stab, before Barroca was sent to the line anew.
This time, Barroca made both his charities to ensure the Mixers’ fourth win.
Cone wasn’t completely satisfied with the win, but said he would take it.
“You look at all our wins, they were tough. Right now, I wish we can be a lot smoother, move the ball better. In the meantime, we will take the ugly wins,but hopefully we can win pretty down the line,” said Cone, who praised his counterpart.
“Coach Glenn Capacio did a great job, particularly with his quick line up that took Yancy (De Ocampo) off the floor, we got to take him out of the floor because we cannot match up with them. Finally, we were forced to match up with them. But Ping did a great job defensively while James made some big shots down the stretch.”
Tim Cone credits ‘best defensive player in the league’ Marc Pingris for San Mig Coffee winIt was San Mig Coffee superstar James Yap who hit the biggest shots down the stretch against GlobalPort, but for Mixers coach Tim Cone, defensive demon Marc Pingris was every bit the hero.
Pingris came up with several defensive gems late in the game to preserve the Mixers’ 82-78 victory, hounding GlobalPort ace Willie Miller down the stretch.
“For five or six years, he’s been the best defensive player in the league,” said Cone. “He should win the [Defensive Player] award every year.”
The athletic forward had a season-high 17 points along with 16 rebounds, helping San Mig Coffee come back from a 15-point deficit. Cone said it’s not a coincidence that Pingris has more spring in his step on offense when he gets a tough assignment defensively.
“If you give him a defensive match up, everything changes about his game,” said Cone.
Cone said that part of his job is to make sure that Pingris gets a defensive assignment that will get him fired up about the game. Pingris, according to his coach, motivates himself by trying to figure out how to stop his man from scoring.
“What makes him more special is he can guard anybody. He’s one guy who can slow anyone down.”
San Mig Coffee (82) — Pingris 17, Yap 16, Simon 15, Barroca 11, Devance 11, De Ocampo 4, Ramos 2, Villanueva 2, Gonzales 2, Reavis 2.
GlobalPort (78) — Miller 19, Manuel 17, Deutchman 7, Antonio 7, Mandani 6, Guevarra 6, Vanlandingham 5, Adducul 4, Vergara 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Yee 2, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 13-19; 30-38; 50-58; 82-78.