One game away-A A +A
Saturday, February 22, 2014
MANILA—San Mig Coffee kept its composure in the crucial stretch to escape with a 93-90 win and a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven titular series of the 39th PBA Philippine cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.
The Coffee Mixers were down by six points going into the pivotal period, but Mark Barroca, Joe Devance and rookie Ian Sangalang came up with big plays to outscore the Elasto Painters, 23-14, and move just a win away from clinching their 11th crown.
“I thought that Paul Lee’s shot was in. I thought we’re going into overtime. We’re fortunate again in this game, it came down the wire again,” said coach Tim Cone, who is chasing his 16th title. “We don’t exactly know what’s wrong with Ping’s eye. I am not going guess what it was. This team is so well coached, they’re so hard to shake.
Credit goes to our guys Ping (PingrIs), who went out but we just continued to battle.
I am well versed that you can’t pat yourself on the back at this point especially against a team like this. They’ll continue their game, they’re not going panic.”
Barroca completed a pair of charity with only 12.4 seconds remaining, but Paul Lee missed a three-point shot that could have sent the game to overtime.
Barroca and James Yap paced San Mig with 17 points, Sangalang added 17 and eight rebounds. Lee scored a game-high 28 points for Rain or Shine, Quiñahan finished with 11 and Gabe Norwood had 10.
Meanwhile, Petron center June Mar Fajardo earned the “Best Player of the Conference” award for the season’s opening conference. The sophomore 6’10” slotman from Cebu bested Petron teammate and last year’s MVP Arwind Santos and Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar for the coveted individual plum.
“Malaking achievement ito para sa akin, pero sana nanalo pa rin kami ng championship. Nagpapasalamat ako sa fans, mga teammates ko at kay God dahil binigyan ako ng maraming blessings. Yung mga teammates ko kasi tinutulungan rin nila ako,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.