At the start of the ball game, it looked like we were headed into a do-or-die game to settle the score between the two ball clubs as the Beermen caught the Mixers flat-footed, racing to a 27-14 lead in the first quarter. But the Mixers simply refused to give up in this game and continued to chip away at the lead for most of the game and eventually got a hold of it in the final quarter and never looked back.
Let’s now have a review of our Keys to the Game and check how the Mixers were able to carve out the win against the formidable Beermen.
Review of Keys to the Game
CONTAIN THE KRAKEN
Despite finishing with a solid double-double of 16 points (47 percent eFG) and 15 rebounds, it can be said that the Mixers did a good job containing the big guy from Cebu, June Mar Fajardo. Although June Mar started the onslaught of the Beermen in the first quarter of play, the Mixers were able to limit his impact as the game went on. The Mixers’ bigs double-teamed the “Kraken”, and even sometimes triple-teamed him whenever he gets a hold of the ball in the post. This ploy seemed to work as the Beermen found it hard to dump the ball inside to Fajardo because he would be swarmed by defenders left and right. This resulted into less touches and shot attempts for Fajardo in the second half of the game. Overall, it was a great job for the Mixers’ big men especially to Joe Devance and Marc Pingris who made life difficult for the “Kraken” in this game.
CONTROL THE BOARDS
The Mixers were not able to win the battle of the boards this time once again. Looking at the numbers:
But despite failing to collar the boards in this game, the Mixers lead in other aspects of the game that lead to their win. More of this in the next section below.
The Mixers were able to get this win because of their great play as a team both on offense and on defense. On offense, they were able to get contributions from almost everybody as only Yousef Taha failed to contribute from all the players fielded in by Coach Tim Cone. Seven players scored at least 7 points in this game. The Mixers was able to get these contributions because of their good ball movement (17 assists, 21.8 percent assist rate) as also seven players were able to record at least an assist in this game.
In terms of defense, the Mixers were dominant in this one. Let’s look at the stats to see how they were able to dominate on defense:
The Mixers did a good job of defending the Beermen both outside and inside the paint. Outside the paint, they were able to close out well to the shooters of the Beermen resulting to only a 24 percent 3-point FG for SMB in this one. Inside the paint, the Mixers did a good job anticipating shots resulting into 13-6 advantage for them in the blocked shots department.
Story of the Game
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
But the big story of the game is once again the Mixer’s 2nd unit. The Mixers were undermanned in this one as PJ Simon wasn’t able to suit up because of back spasms. The fact that Barroca and James Yap (combined 3 of 15 from the field) struggled in this game didn’t help as well. However, the bench players of San Mig gladly took the responsibility and carried the team to victory.
It was a breakout game for the Mixers’ rookie Justin Melton, scoring his career-high of 16 points (74 percent TS%). He was sensational in this one scoring almost at will on open jump shots and daredevil fast break drives. Helping him was Allein Maliksi adding 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in this game. Another key contributor helping Pingris and Blakely down low was another rookie in Ian Sangalang, powering his way to a solid 8-point and 8-rebound performance to go with 2 assists and 2 blocks as well.
On to the Next Round: Finals Rematch
With the win, the Mixers eliminated the Beermen from title contention and advanced to the next round to face the Tropang Texters in the semi-finals of the 2014 PBA Governors Cup. It will be a great series for sure with TNT looking to seek revenge for their defeat in the Commisioner’s Cup Finals just last conference. As for the Mixers, the road to the Grand Slam continues and they must be able to get past the Tropang Texters to keep that dream alive.