San Mig Coffee reasserts Manila Clasico mastery with defeat of Ginebra · Sunday, March 16, 2014 · 7:39 pm
PBA/Nuki Sabio
PBA/Nuki Sabio

The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers shut down Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to fashion out a 90-80 win in their Manila Clasico showdown on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Import James Mays bounced back from a subpar debut by scoring 29 points and grabbing 29 rebounds to lead the way for the Mixers, who won their second straight match to open the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup.

“James was a monster on the boards, a monster on the hustle,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone of Mays, who managed just 15 points and six rebounds in his first game.

“We called Marqus ‘Mr. Everything,’ we could call James ‘Mr. Everywhere,’ because he was just everywhere.”

It was the first meeting between the two teams since their record-breaking semifinals series in the Philippine Cup. This one looked like it would be an instant classic as the two teams went toe-to-toe, exchanging big blows throughout the game.

Ginebra rode the heroics of import Leon Rodgers, who sizzled with 32 points through the first three quarters. The burly sharpshooter got defenders Marc Pingris and Alex Mallari in early foul trouble, with the Mixers looking lost for answers on how to stop him.

But San Mig Coffee finally found the answer in the fourth period, when Cone assigned Rafi Reavis to guard Rodgers. The Ginebra reinforcement lost steam in the final period, scoring just three points and failing to make a field goal.

“Rafi took on the import and really gave some fits with his length and his veteran smarts,” said Cone.

The Mixers also got the final kick courtesy of rookie Ian Sangalang, who scored eight points in a fourth quarter run that allowed them to put Ginebra away.

“Ian gave us a huge lift that kinda got us that lead in the fourth quarter,” said Cone. “He just doesn’t back down, he’s not afraid.”

The second overall draft pick finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, outdueling Ginebra’s top pick Greg Slaughter. The seven-footer finished with seven points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks, but visibly struggled to contain the energetic Mays.

James Yap and Peter June Simon added 13 and 11 points, respectively for San Mig Coffee.

Japeth Aguilar finished with 12 points while LA Tenorio contributed 11 for Ginebra, which lost its second straight game after winning its opening assignment in the tournament.

The scores:

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 90 – Mays 29, Yap 13, Simon 11, Sangalang 10, Devance 7, Melton 6, Barroca 5, Reavis 5, Pingris 2, Mallari 2, De Ocampo 0.

GINEBRA 80 – Rodgers 35, Aguilar 12, Tenorio 11, Slaughter 7, Ellis 6, Caguioa 4, Mamaril 2, Forrester 2, Reyes 1, Ababou 0, Monfort 0.

Quarters: 21-22, 41-43, 69-67, 90-80

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