2014 PBA Philippine Cup Finals: Mixers take commanding 3-1 series lead after Game 4 win!

Despite star forward Marc Pingris going down with a poked eye in the third quarter, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers prevailed, 93-90. This was mainly due to rookie big man Ian Sangalang’s stepping up in the absence of Ping. Sangalang, the second overall pick in the 2013 PBA Draft, shot 8/12 from the field to lead SMC with 17 points. He also grabbed 8 rebounds. He was instrumental in the second quarter, teaming up with fellow greenhorn Justin Melton to erect a double-digit spread, and in the payoff period, where he helped the Mixers climb back from a 6-point deficit to steal the game and move within one win of the Philippine Cup title.

The Elasto-Painters didn’t play bad at all in this one, but they also weren’t really able to capitalize on the absence of Pingris, who was tasked to defend ROS’s big guns — Paul Lee and Jeff Chan. Without Ping, Lee broke out again, scoring 28 points and 11/21 FG shooting. Chan, however, struggled with his shot, missing all six three-point attempts and making just 2/4 from the line. Chan finished with 6 markers, his lowest point total since scoring one point last February 1. If the Painters want to extend this series, then it’s a no-brainer that Chan has to find his stroke again.

Big Game Backcourt: Prior to this game, Mark Barroca hadn’t exactly been stellar for the Mixers. He went from the team’s leading scorer in the elims to averaging 7 points per game in the first three matches of the Finals. This time around, though, he broke out, scoring 17 points and dishing out 8 assists in his best game since Game 3 of the SMC-Ginebra semis series. He did a bulk of the damage in the nick of time, too, as the Painters kicked off the fourth quarter with a 6-point lead. Yap, meanwhile, continued to sizzle for the Mixers. After making just 2/9 from three-point land in the first three contests, Big Game James waxed hot here, making all but one of his five trey attempts while also shooting 5/8 from the 2-point area. He finished with 17 markers on top of 4 boards.

James Yap was instrumental in helping SMC gain a 3-1 lead
in the best-of-seven Finals.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA)

Game Recap:


The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers bucked the loss of star forward Marc Pingris to outlast the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 93-90, in Game Four of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup finals on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“We’re fortunate again. This game came down the wire again,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

Pingris left the game in the third quarter after accidentally getting poked in the right eye by Rain or Shine center JR Quinahan. That left the rest of the Mixers having to turn back a second half charge from the Elasto Painters to come within a game of winning the title.

“We don’t exactly know what’s wrong with Ping’s eye. I’m not gonna guess what it was,” said Cone.

“To the credit of our guys, Ping went out, we just continued to battle.”

The Mixers started out strong behind 14 points from James Yap in the first period. But the Elasto Painters went toe-to-toe with San Mig Coffee before eventually ending the opening quarter with a slim 27-26 edge.

San Mig Coffee took over in the second quarter behind rookies Justin Melton and Ian Sangalang. The two first-year players combined for 17 points in the period as the Mixers opened up a 13-point spread before settling for a 52-42 edge at the half.

But the Elasto Painters came alive in the third quarter behind Paul Lee, who scored 11 points in the period. The Mixers struggled especially after the departure of Pingris, their main defender for Lee throughout the series.

Rain or Shine ended the quarter with a 76-70 advantage.

The Mixers, however, did not fold. Mark Barroca, quiet on offense for most of the series, scored six points in a 12-2 run as San Mig Coffee regained the upper hand, 82-78.

Ian Sangalang pushed the lead to six points, 90-84, with 1:33 seconds remaining. But Lee answered right back with a three-pointer to put Rain or Shine within three points, 90-87, in the next play.

The Mixers blew a chance to extend the advantage after Sangalang missed a layup. He was able to force a held ball at the other end with Gabe Norwood, but Rain or Shine won the tip. JR Quinahan recovered the ball and drew a foul, but could only make one of two free throws.

Sangalang drew a foul on Lee in the ensuing possession, but he could only split his free throws for a 91-88 advantage with 22.1 seconds remaining.

Rain or Shine had to burn its last two timeouts before it was able to get the ball inbounds. Lee then drove for a layup to cut the lead to one point, 91-90, with 17.1 seconds left.

Gabe Norwood sent Barroca to the line with 12.4 seconds remaining. The third-year guard made both free throws to push the lead to three points.

Without a timeout, Rain or Shine rushed upcourt to set up Lee for a good look. But his attempt rattled out, allowing the Mixers to escape.

“I thought that Paul Lee shot was in,” said Cone. “I thought we’re going into overtime.”

Sangalang led San Mig Coffee with 17 points and eight rebounds, taking over Pingris’s spot in the endgame for the Mixers. Yap and Barroca added 17 points apiece for San Mig Coffee, which could end the series in Sunday’s Game Five.

Lee led the Elasto Painters with 28 points, his second straight explosive game after scoring 23 in the last match.

Despite the imposing 3-1 series lead, Cone was in no mood to celebrate.

“This team’s so well-coached, they’re so hard to shake,” said Cone of Rain or Shine. “I’m well-versed that you can’t pat yourself at the back at this point especially against a team like this.”

SMC 93 – Barroca 17, Sangalang 17, Yap 17, Devance 12, Simon 12, Melton 7, Pingris 6, Mallari 3, Reavis 2, Gaco 0.
ROS 90 – Lee 28, Quinahan 11, Belga 10, Norwood 10, Cruz 8, Almazan 6, Chan 6, Tiu 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Tang 0, Nuyles 0, Teng 0, Rodriguez 0.
QS: 26-27, 52-42, 70-76, 93-90

Beau Belga barrels into Joe Devance.
(image by KC Cruz/GMANews)

PJ Simon tries to get past the defense of Gabe Norwood.
(image by KC Cruz/GMANews)

Game Recap Source: Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Image Sources: Nuki Sabio/PBA and KC Cruz/GMANews.

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