2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Roundup: September 27, 2013

San Mig Coffee sealed its spot in the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Semifinals with a big win over Alaska. This means last year’s bridesmaids have a chance at redemption.

In the last quarterfinal game, San Mig Coffee overcame Alaska, 83-73, as the Mixers’ defense was spot-on, limiting the dynamic duo of JV Casio and Calvin Abueva to a combined 9 points on 3/21 FG shooting. SMC’s D also forced Casio to commit an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers. Now the former DLSU and Gilas standout will have the rest of the summer to reflect on an otherwise great 2012-2013 sophomore campaign.

Watching Allein Maliksi hurt his knee wasn't nice. The tall swingman who has become an important piece for SMC left the game in the second period after already scoring 10 points. Hope it's not too serious. The Mixers will definitely need him against Mario West and the Meralco Bolts.

It's pretty obvious Marqus Blakely still remembers the pain of losing to the Painters in last season's Govs' Cup Finals. He wants another shot at a PBA title, and he's definitely leaving no stone unturned. He stuffed the sheet in thisgame, dropping 30 points, 15 boards, 5 rejections, 4 thefts, and 3 dimes. He shot 10/19 from the field, too. Now for those free throws… (10/22 FTs).

Marqus Blakely's hopes of redeeming himself are still alive.

Game Recaps:
The San Mig Coffee Mixers booked the last seat to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup, outlasting Alaska in a defensive struggle, 83-73, on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The victory set up a best-of-five showdown between San Mig Coffee and the Meralco Bolts beginning Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“The was a big load off our shoulders,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. “There was a lot of pressure on us.”

The Mixers had twice-to-beat advantage coming into the series, but lost the first match to the Aces last Wednesday. It brought back memories of the franchise’s defeat as a top seed to Powerade in the Philippine Cup last season, when the team also lost twice in the semifinals.

“Because of that famous Powerade loss, for us, whenever we lose the first game, it’s deja vu all over again,” said Cone, who noted that Alaska point guard JVee Casio was also a member of that Tigers’ squad that pulled off the upset.

“Whenever you see Casio hitting a three, you go, ‘Oh no, it’s happening again.’”

But the Mixers made sure there was going to be no explosion for Casio, who finished with just five points on 1-of-9 shooting after scoring 21 in the first game of the series.

With the Aces’ court general firing blanks, the Mixers were able to hold shackle the Alaska offense. San Mig Coffee allowed the Aces to shoot just 28 percent from the field.

That defense was on display in the last 1:59 of the game, when the Mixers held the Aces without a field goal the rest of the way. San Mig Coffee wrapped the game up on a 9-3 run, with Alaska’s only points coming on three free throws by Cyrus Baguio.

Import Marqus Blakely stuffed the stat sheet for San Mig Coffee with 30 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, and four steals. Joe Devance added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Alaska reinforcement Wendell McKines led the fight for Alaska, scoring 24 points and grabbing 20 rebounds, with 13 coming off the offensive end. Baguio added 20 points, while Tony Dela Cruz had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Aces.

The Mixers won despite a sub par game from superstar James Yap, who finished with two points, and an early injury to Allein Maliksi. The explosive wingman had a great start, scoring 10 points in his first six minutes on the floor, before leaving the game after hurting his knee in the second quarter.

“We’re gonna schedule him for an MRI tomorrow and see if he can be ready on Sunday,” said Cone. “Right now, I feel he’s doubtful.

“Sayang, he just landed badly off a bump.”

San Mig Coffee will just have one day to prepare for a showdown with the Bolts, who dispatched Barako Bull last Wednesday to book a seat in the final four.

“We have a real fresh memory of them,” said Cone, noting the Mixers’ win over the Bolts in their last elimination round game. “They’re extremely underrated. Their lineup is really solid.”

SMC 83 – Blakely 30, Devance 12, Maliksi 10, Barroca 7, Simon 7, Mallari 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 3, Ponferrada 2, Yap 2.
ALA 73 – McKines 24, Baguio 20, Dela Cruz 10, Thoss 6, Casio 5, Abueva 4, Jazul 3, Espinas 1, Hontiveros 0.
QS: 18-12, 39-35, 61-53, 83-73

Cyrus Baguio dropped a big game, but still
couldn't lead Alaska to the W.

Alaska's Luigi Trillo congratulates mentor Tim Cone for the huge win.
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble)

Images: Images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paul Ryan Tan)

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