San Mig leads, 3-2

By: Calvin D. Cordova February 09,2014 - 11:30 AM

San Mig superstar James Yap fires a shot over Ginebra veteran Mark Caguioa.

Big-time players make big-time plays.

James Yap did just that, hitting a booming triple in the closing seconds to lift the San Mig Coffee Mixers to heart-pounding 79-76 squeaker over the Barangay Ginebra Kings yesterday in Game 5 of their best-of-seven semifinal series of the 39th PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Yap had missed 13 of his 15 attempts from the field when he delivered the winning triple as San Mig took a 3-2 series and moved a game away from making it to the Finals.

Game 6 is set on Monday with the Coffee Mixers looking to forge a championship date with early finalists Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Rain or Shine booked the first championship ticket after dispatching the Petron Blaze Boosters in their own semifinal series, 4-1.

Before Yap’s heroics, Chris Ellis made an emphatic play when he nailed a crucial jumpshot that propelled Ginebra to a 76-75 lead with 22.9 seconds left.

Then Yap answered with his won clutch play, receiving a pass from Mark Barroca before pulling up a three-pointer over Mac Baracael, putting the Coffee Mixers on top, 78-76, with 13.3 ticks to go.

It didn’t help for Ginebra that its point guard LA Tenorio, who had saved the Kings several times in several down-the-wire battles, committed a fatal blunder in a crucial possession.

Following Yap’s three-pointer, Tenorio missed a layup in the next play and Ginebra was forced to foul rookie Justin Melton.

Melton missed his first throw but made the second, giving San Mig a three-point lead with seven seconds left.

With Ginebra out of timeout, Tenorio raced to the other end of the court but instead of attempting what could have been an overtime-sending three-point shot, he opted to drive to the basket—a harmless shot that was even blocked from behind by Barroca as time ran out.

Barroca had another stellar game for San Mig as he scored 14 points. Marc Pingris added 12 markers, while Yap, Rafi Reavis and PJ Simon chipped in 10 apiece.

Ellis finished with a game-high 20 points to lead Ginebra, which also got 11 points from Jay-arr Reyes.

Twin towers Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter had meager productions as they only scored eight markers each.

SAN MIG (79)– Barroca 14, Pingris 12, Simon 10, Reavis 10, Yap 10, Mallari 8, Devance 7, Sangalang 6, Melton 2.
GINEBRA (76) – Ellis 20, Reyes 11, Aguilar 9, Slaughter 9, Tenorio 9, Caguioa 6, Baracael 5, Helterbrand 5, Mamaril 2, Monfort 0, Urbiztondo 0.
QUARTERSCORES: 21-21, 46-44, 62-57, 79-76.

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TAGS: basketball, ginebra, PBA, San Mig Coffee Mixers

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