Rey Joble, InterAKTV · Friday, December 7, 2012 · 9:58 pm
Needing to win one win to secure the twice-to-beat prize for the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone knew his team would to struggle for it.
The Coffee Mixers did it the hard way, hacking out a 107-96 win against a GlobalPort squad that fought hard despite playing merely for pride Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Peter June Simon came up big, picking up the slack for the hurting James Yap with 27 points to lead the way for the Mixers, who formalized their hold of the No. 2 spot in the quarterfinal round.
"I know it wasn't pretty, but it's a lot harder than what people see from the outside," said Cone.
"There's the other team which has gotten loose and another team looked stressed. Looking at each other, you know there's going to be a real battle. Certainly, there's no easy games in the PBA."
San Mig Coffee did not get its rhythm going until the early part of the fourth quarter, when the Mixers outscored the Batang Pier, 34-18, to secure their 10th win in 13 games.
"We just took care of business tonight. I told my players that all we have to do is walk out there and win. Let's not misunderstand our expectations. We don't have to win by 25 points, but we only need to win by one and win," said Cone.
The Mixers still have one game left on their elimination round schedule against the Meralco Bolts, but are locked into a playoff duel against the underachieving but dangerous Petron Blaze Boosters.
"Anybody could pick a harder opponent, but Petron. There's a saying that you don't choose who to play in the playoffs because you need to go through everyone of them," said Cone.
GlobalPort ended its campaign with just a lone win to show in 14 games.
San Mig Coffee 107 -- Simon 27, De Ocampo 18, Pingris 14, Barroca 12, Ramos 8, Yap 8, Reavis 7, Devance 5, Intal 4, Villanueva 4, Gonzales 0.
Globalport 96 -- David 22, Al-Hussaini 20, Deutchman 13, Miller 13, Mandani 10, Salvador 6, Guevarra 4, Raymundo 2, Manuel 2, Lingganay 2, Yee 2, Vanlandingham 0.
Quarters: 20-27; 47-49; 73-78; 107-96