2014 PBA Governors Cup Finals: Mixers draw first blood!

James Yap led SMC's fightback in the payoff period.

Game notes:
- Criticize James Yap for being “too showbiz.” Criticize him for possibly coasting during the elimination round. Criticize him for no longer being as consistently sharp as he once was. But don’t criticize him for shying in the big moments. He is, after all, Big Game James. Yap scored 14 points on 5/10 FG shooting here, with many of those coming in the crucial stages late in the game.

- Props to the Mixers, who had to storm back from a 17-point hole to get the 1-0 series lead and move just two games away from an historic Grand Slam, which will be the first this millennium and the second one for coach Tim Cone.

- ROS import AZ Reid had another strong individual showing, dropping 35 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but even that wasn’t enough as the Mixers, like they have done time and again the past year, just hit the shots that counted the most.

- Paul Lee had a chance to tie the game in the dying seconds, though, and this is where controversy reared its ugly head. Lee stepped back to draw defender Marc Pingris closer. Lee pump faked, and Ping jumped. Lee seemed to initiate/draw contact when he finally attempted a shot. Some people think Lee drew the contact legitimately and Ping should have been tagged with his third foul. Some people think it was an okay non-call because Ping was observing the “verticality principle.” 

Controversial Play - Foul or no foul?

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


They don’t call him ‘Big Game’ James for nothing.

James Yap carried San Mig Coffee in the endgame as he helped the Mixers complete an epic second half comeback to defeat Rain or Shine, 104-101, and inch closer to a historic Grand Slam after Game One of the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup final on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Yap hit one big shot after another as he scored nine points in the final three minutes of the tight contest and help San Mig Coffee grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

The two-time PBA MVP scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and grabbed six rebounds for San Mig Coffee, which had to overhaul a 17-point second-half deficit to grab the win.

Peter June Simon led the way with 18 points while Marc Pingris added 14 points and a team-high five assists for the Mixers.

Yap kicked off his offensive barrage with a pair of free throws at the 2:50 mark. After a split from Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid, Yap hit one of his trademark one-handed runners while drawing a foul on the play to tie the ballgame at 94-apiece.

Reid hit two free throws and Marc Pingris answered with two points from the post. But Reid gave Rain or Shine the lead again with a midrange jumper.

Yap knocked down a three-pointer with 55 seconds remaining to finally give San Mig Coffee the lead, 99-98, for the first time since the opening period then followed it up with another big jumper with 16 ticks remaining to make it 101-98 for the Mixers.

The game had a bit of a controversial finish as Paul Lee appeared to draw contact on Pingris on a last-second shot with a chance to force overtime but the referees chose not to blow the whistle.

Rain or Shine led, 71-54, at 5:13 mark of the third period but watched their lead shrink to five before the start of the fourth quarter.

Reid, who finished with 35 points and 12 rebounds, outperformed his San Mig Coffee counterpart Marqus Blakely (13 points and 14 rebounds) but it was not enough in this contest.

SMC 104 – Simon 18, Pingris 14, Yap 14, Blakely 13, Barroca 11, Maliksi 10, Devance 10, Sangalang 7, Reavis 5, Melton 2, Mallari 0.
ROS 101 – Reid 35, Chan 17, Lee 12, Belga 11, Norwood 7, Almazan 6, Arana 5, Cruz 2, Tiu 2, Nuyles 2, Ibanes 2, Rodriguez 0.
QS: 24-29, 46-57, 71-78, 104-101.

Arizona Reid tries to slice and dice his way down the middle.

PJ Simon led the way for the Mixers with 18 points!

Rafi Reavis goes up strong for the slamma jamma!

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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