It was quite unbelievable how the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers started the game against Globalport. Seemingly lacking energy at the beginning of the game, the Mixers were caught by surprise by the Batang Pier. Lead by the returning import Dior Lowhorn, Globalport was able to take the lead by as much as 20 points early in the game.
But come the 2nd half, it was as though it was a different team Globalport was facing. The Mixers turned it up in the 3rd and 4th quarter to come out with the victory, 92-82. The Mixers improved to 3-1, creating a three-way tie for 2nd place with SMB and Air21. On the contrary, the Batang Pier falls down further in the team standings with a 1-3 win-loss card.
How were the Mixers able to do this masterful comeback and win this game? Let’s now review our keys to the game.
Review of our Keys to the Game
As I have said in my Pregame Primer, when PJ plays good, good things usually happen to the Mixers. And in this game, PJ Simon did not disappoint. He was named as the Best Player of the Game in this one finishing with 24 points (50% eFG) and 2 assists. He fired in 19 points in the 2nd half with 11 of those coming from the 3rd period wherein San Mig mounted the sterling comeback.
CONTROL THE PACE
Early in the game, San Mig was caught off guard with Globalport’s intensity on defense allowing the Batang Pier to force turnovers and run on the break. This is the primary reason why Globalport was able to mount a huge lead against San Mig. The Mixers, realizing they are unable to score on their sets, gave Globalport a dose of their own medicine. Looking at the numbers:
|Team||FB Att||FB Points||Steals||TOs||TO Points|
The Mixers’ defense showed up in the 2nd half forcing the Batang to a lot of turnovers that resulted into turnover points mostly coming from fast break opportunities. Globalport’s attack in the 1st half was nullified by the onslaught of San Mig in the 3rd and 4th quarter outscoring the Batang Pier in that stretch, 58-31.
MAKE GLOBALPORT’S DEFENSE WORK
It was surprising that in this game Globalport’s half-court defense was good. The Mixers had a hard time in the 1st half running their sets against the Batang Pier. This prompted the Mixers to switch it up and run whenever they had a chance. It proved to be a good move as the transition defense of Globalport was non-existent in the 2nd half as San Mig came away with the W.
It was a solid debut for the returning import Dior Lowhorn as he finished the game with 33 points (73.7% 2FG), 16 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. Lowhorn was a problem for the Mixers all throughout the game as nobody on the team was unable to match with his size and power in the shaded area. Luckily for the Mixers, Lowhorn lost some steam in the 2nd half and wasn’t able to carry his team to victory. San Mig must figure out a better job in defending big guys down the block as they will be facing a huge frontline in their next game as they go up against Ginebra.
The veterans of San Mig showed up and led the rest of the Mixers to victory on this one. Aside from PJ Simon, Mark Pingris, James Yap, and Joe Devance provided the firepower for the locals of San Mig. JDV contributed 8 points and 7 rebounds. Pingris played a “perfect” game after being thrown out in ther last game as he finished with 10 points (3/3 FG, 4/4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assist, and 2 steals. James Yap on the other hand scored 13 points (8 in the 3rd quarter) and added 3 rebounds.
Special mention goes out to the “Black Sakuragi” for playing with a lot of energy in this game. His energy sparked the run the Mixers did in the 2nd half. In 36 minutes of action, he tallied 25 points (10/14 FG) and added 13 rebounds as well. He was also effective in finding his open teammates finishing with a team-high 5 assists. What was more impressive with Blakely in this game was the way he picked the pockets of the Batang Pier all the way from their bigs down to their guards. He was responsible for 6 of the 14 steals of San Mig in this game, a personal conference-high for him.
The Mixers survived this one with sheer determination. Being able to overhaul a large deficit is a good thing for the team but they can’t afford to repeat their 1st half performance against a more experienced and more talented squad in their next opponent, the Ginebra San Miguel.