MANILA, Philippines – The Petron Blaze Boosters win over San Mig Coffee Mixers in the 2013 PBA Governor’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wenesday and will continue to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Friday.
Petron pounced on San Mig ending the game with 99-88 in Game Six of the Best-of-Seven Finals.
San Mig showed defense right at the start of the game, sending Rafi Reavis, Alex Mallari, Mark Barroca, and Marqus Blakely to an early foul-trouble situation.
The two teams started the game with the Mixers leading 8-4 with 8:33 mark of the first quarter thanks to the triples of James Yap and Joe Devance while Petron then countered with a 13-3 run capped by June Mar Fajardo to lead, 19-11.
Petron built their first double-digit lead of the game at 28-18 following a layup at the end of the first quarter from Arwind Santos and a triple from Ronald Tubid. PJ Simon then scored a split from the line to cut Petron’s lead to nine.
With the San Mig Coffee in foul trouble, the Boosters then dumped the ball to Fajardo who scored free throws for a 32-21 lead. The Mixers were in penalty in the second quarter, which allowed the Boosters to stay ahead, mostly from the free throw line resulting Petron to lead with 52-39 at the half.
Blakely led the Mixers with 21 points and 11 rebounds but only scored two points in the fourth quarter. Devance and Yap added 17 points each but it wasn’t enough to give them the clinching victory.
For Petron, Elijah Millsap played with excruciating pain but still carried the Boosters on his shoulders, firing away nine straight points to save them from imminent collapse in the homestretch.
With San Mig Coffee hot on their heels, Millsap refused to lose as he matched the Mixers basket-for-basket late in the fourth quarter. Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz then backed him up to give Petron the victory.
Millsap twice writhed in pain after twisting his left foot but twice returned to personally fight off San Mig Coffee’s challenge.
“It’s unbelievable. We just don’t want to lose the game,” said Millsap.
“In crunch time, Elijah proved he’s a leader,” said Booster’s head coach Gee Abanilla.
Millsap scored 30 points while adding eight rebounds, six assists and two steals in another amazing all-around game.
“He did a tremendous job not just in scoring and defending but just leading this team,” Abanilla stated.
On the other hand, San Mig coach Tim Cone said that they certainly had their chances. They wanted to avoid a winner-take-all game but too many things happened.
“We didn’t play real well. We’re okay but not great. As I’ve been saying all along we can’t beat this team if we don’t work on all cylinders. We didn’t have that tonight,” Cone said.
PETRON (99)- Millsap 30, Fajardo 21, Santos 12, Cabagnot 12, Lutz 11, Lassiter 7, Tubid 6, Kramer 0, Hubalde 0, Ildefonso 0.
SAN MIG (88)- Blakely 21, Devance 17, Yap 17, Simon 14, Pingris 13, Reavis 4, Mallari 2, Gaco 0, Barroca 0, De Ocampo 0.
28-19, 52-39, 74-63, 99-88.
Princess Alexis B. Siguan
ABCom/ Leyte Normal University