It was a neck and neck battle for the first three and a half quarters with both teams exchanging blows in what seemed to be another classic “Manila Clasico” match-up. But as the game neared the finish line, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers turned it into a one-sided affair, surging past Ginebra San Miguel to claim solo 1st in the team standings, 4-1. Ginebra, on the other hand, lost its first game under new Head Coach Jeff Cariaso, and dropped in the team standings, 3-1.
Let’s now take a look at our Keys to the Game to see how this game went down in favor of the Mixers.
Review of our Keys to the Game
Z.MASON AND GREGZILLA
In the first three games of Ginebra where they were unbeaten, Mason and Slaughter played big and dished out solid numbers. However, in this game, these two guys struggled quite a bit against the defense of the Mixers. Looking at their numbers in this game:
Mason started the game strong but come the 4th quarter, when the Mixers made their run, he looked tired and gassed out. The Mixers’ defense did a good job against Mason as he struggled in the field in this game with 7 of his 18 points coming from the foul line. On the other hand, Slaughter wasn’t as dominant in this game compared to his 1st 3 games this conference. The giant was cut to size by the relentless front line of the Mixers. Greg wasn’t able to position himself in his usual spots as various defenders (Pingris, Blakely, Devance) kept him out of the shaded area for most of the game. The struggles of both men in this game were highlighted by their 4 turnovers each, accounting for 40 percent of Ginebra’s turnover the entire game.
DISRUPT GINEBRA’S OFFENSE
Ginebra’s averaging close to 18 assists per game before this game with the Mixers that’s been key for their early success this conference. However, in this game, they faced a great defensive team and a team familiar with what they were running. This resulted into an array of turnovers for the team (20) that resulted into 19 turnover points for the Mixers. Ginebra was also held to it’s conference-low in assists as a team with only 13.
The Mixers caught them by surprise in the 4th quarter when they enforced a full-court press that not only disrupted Ginebra’s offense but also their focus in the game as well. The Mixers finished with 12 steals for the game with most of it coming from their fourth quarter rally that sealed the win for them.
SPACE THE FLOOR (HIT OUTSIDE SHOTS)
The Mixers were not that spectacular with their outside sniping in this game only managing to sink 3 shots out of the 10 attempts. But they were able to cut down Ginebra’s size by running on the break. They managed to score 14 points on 15 fastbreak attempts compared to Ginebra’s 9 points on 6 fastbreak attempts only.
Here are the top performers for the Mixers that helped them beat Ginebra.
Marqus Blakely was trending on twitter last night and why not? He was instrumental in that late 4th quarter surge by the Mixers. He was like a man possessed grabbing rebounds, stealing the ball, soaring for the fast break, and providing the scoring punch for the Mixers in that telling run. Living up to his monicker, “Mr. Everything” finished with an impressive stat line of 34 points (10 of 18 shooting, 14 of 19 from the foul line), 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals (tying his conference-high), and 1 block in 42 minutes of action.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PJ!
Celebrating his birthday yesterday, PJ continues his double-digit scoring run for the Mixers. He finished the game with 19 points (73.1 percent eFG). He was a handful for small guys that were tasked to defend against him and was too quick for bigger defenders. Simon continues to be San Mig’s main weapon next to Blakely averaging 18 points per game in 5 games this conference.
SILENT OPERATOR: JDV
Although it may not really show in the stat sheet, Joe Devance was an important factor in this win by the Mixers against Ginebra. He only finished with 8 points but he contributed 4 rebounds and a team-high 5 assists for the Mixers. JDV’s playmaking was on point tonight finding the open man and the best available shot highlighted by a no-look pass to Marqus Blaklely in the shaded lane that resulted in a 3-point play opportunity. It wasn’t only on offense but on defense as well that Joe had a hand on in this win by the Mixers. He did a good job clamping down on Slaughter, often pushing him out of his usual spots that forced Slaughter into missed shots and turnovers. JDV may not be as flashy as the other guys but he gets the job done. His play will be a significant factor for the Mixers as they enter the final stretch of the elimination round of this year’s Governor’s Cup.