Petron was in full tank mode coming out of the gates and firing. On the other hand, the Mixers didn’t drink their coffee’s for last night’s game. SMC came out and played without energy. The result? A demolition — Petron Blaze Boosters demolished their sister team San Mig Coffee Mixers, 98-73, to get their first win of the Commisioner’s Cup. Former Former New York Knick Renaldo Balkman had an amazing game, putting up fantasy like numbers with 28 points , 15 rebounds , 5 assists and 2 blocks. He also had a couple of amazing dunks, including one against SMC import Matt Rogers, who made his debut after missing the first game of the mixers due to food poisoning. It was a good team effort by Petron as they showed good ball movement, showing everyone that they if they play like a team, they can be formidable. James Yap had another big game for the Mixers, dropping 25 points, but he was the only local in double figures for the Mixers. PJ Simon needs to step up so that San Mig won’t be 0-3. Matt Rogers scored 20 points in his debut but he seemed to lack the defensive presence that their former import, Denzel Bowles had during last year’s title run. If San Mig Coffee continues to struggle in their next few games, expect a change in imports, preferably a return by Incredibowles.
Petron was in the driver’s seat from the start all the way to the finish. It was basically over by the 3rd quarter. It was Alex Mallari’s 1st game against his former squad and he had another so-so game , with only 1 point to show despite a lot of minutes and a lot of touches. He was even the starting point guard of the game. Tim Cone really believes in the guy. He needs to prove his worth in the next few games to justify his playing time and role. Mallari has potential but he needs to make better decisions and improve his outside shooting. A point guard who can shoot is very crucial in the triangle, just think of Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr in the past. Mallari running point also means a reduced role for Marc Barroca — and we all know Barroca played so well during the last conference. The coaching staff of the Mixers needs to make sure that the 2 point guards can co-exist. We all know Barroca and RR Garcia did not really co-exist well when they played in FEU a few years back, so let’s see if Barroca can finally adjust playing with another ball handler. Matt Rogers struggled from the field and from the line. He likes taking mid range jump shots. That’s not going to cut it. He is not the inside force that is expected from the imports for this conference. He needs to be aggressive on both ends of the floor if he wants to keep his job.
1.) Keep Yeo in check – Yeo spent the night riding the Petron bench. They should either try to trade him, and there were rumors about trading Yeo during the off-season, or make time for him despite their loaded lineup, easier said than done. Perhaps they should try to trade him to Air 21, Coach Franz really wants a reunion with his former King Archer.
2.) Big Game James – James Yap had another huge game, scoring 25 points. However, he did not get enough help from his teammates, as he was the only local to score in double digits for the Mixers. The supporting cast needs to step up if the defending champions want to prevent a 0-3 start to their title defense.
3.) Sakuragi – The effort was there but we all know that Marc Pingris can do better. For sure he wants to prove he deserves to make it in the Glas final lineup. Perhaps a double-double game in their next game is in the offing for this high energy forward.
Let us see if this is a sign of good things to come for the Petron Blaze Boosters as they try to end the Petronovela once and for all.
On the other side, San Mig Coffee needs a strong team effort if they want to win their next game and go back in track in defending their title.