After a loss against Rain or Shine in their last game of the eliminations, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers set a date with the San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals of the 2014 PBA Governor’s Cup.
The odds are pretty stacked against the Mixers in this one barely having a day of rest, losing their last two games, and losing against the Beermen in the eliminations. Luckily, the Mixers are equipped with a twice-to-beat advantage. Despite this, it is important for the Mixers to take care of the Beermen in their first encounter in this quarterfinal series as it would be doubly hard for them to get past this team in a do-or-die match-up if they lose this game. What do the Mixers have to do to eliminate the Beermen and continue their chase of a rare Grand Slam?
Keys to the Game
CONTAIN THE KRAKEN
For almost any team in the PBA today, going up against the Beermen would mean a tough night trying to contain the Kraken, JuneMar Fajardo. The leading MVP candidate this season has been a dominant force inside the paint averaging 21.8 points, 16.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks in 9 games this conference. In the loss against the Beermen, it was Fajardo together with the Beermen’s import, Reginald Williams, who did the damage. In this critical game, the Mixers must find a way to limit the big guy’s touches on the floor, push him out of his comfort zone, or attack his defense so he could be in foul trouble.
CONTROL THE BOARDS
The game in the elimination round between these two teams was very close. It was pretty even up until the Beermen made key plays down the stretch. One thing that indicated that their match-up was pretty even was the rebounding. The Mixers had the slight advantage in terms of controlling the boards, 49-48. It would be no surprise that the team who would grab more boards would have a better chance of winning this game. Marqus Blakely, who led the charge last time with 19 boards, will need more help from his teammates if they want to gain an upper hand in the battle of the boards.
The Mixers must play as a unit in this game not only offensively but most importantly defensively. Everybody must be on the same page and focus should be at an all-time high. For the Mixers to be able to get this win, their starters as well as their bench (who showed what they can do the last time out) must do their part. It would be interesting to see if they could sustain their momentum defensively in the 2nd half of their game against Rain or Shine. If San Mig can do that, San Miguel would probably have a hard time putting up points in the board.
Key Match-up: Joe Devance vs. Arwind Santos
Two of the more silent operators in the league. An interesting match-up to observe in this game is the battle in the forward spot between Joe Devance and Arwind Santos. Both guys have had big games this conference and are vital pieces for their respective teams. Both can shoot outside well and can also bang bodies inside the paint for the rebounds. Who will be the x-factor for his team in this game?
The Beermen will come out firing for sure as they are facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage. The Mixers must be able to show their championship composure and weather this San Miguel storm. Although this is literally a must-win situation for San Miguel, it also is for San Mig Super Coffee. A win by the Beermen here would put a lot of pressure on the Mixers and it’s better for them to take care of SMB right then and there. Expect it to be a tough fight from start to finish as the San Miguel Beermen fight for their lives but i think the defending champions, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, will come out on top in this one.