San Mig blasts Niños-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
JAMES Yap and company were too much for the Cebuano basketball heavyweights as San Mig Coffee Mixers romped off with an 82-69 win over the M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños in the opening game of the 2012 Mayor Mike L. Rama PBA Pre-Season Invitational Basketball Tournament held at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
Today, the Niños will try to rebound when they face the Norman Black-mentored Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters at 5 p.m., while San Mig Coffee will mix it up with Alaska Aces in the main game at 7 p.m.
As of press time, the Dondon Hontiveros-led Alaska Aces were locking horns with the Tropang Texters.
Yap, who played sparingly, scored 14 points for the Mixers, including a fire-dousing trey at the final 4:43 of the game that snapped the growing momentum of the Niños.
Starting the final period with a basket by rookie Aldrech Ramos that re-established the Mixers’ 20-point lead, 64-44, MLKP suddenly found life behind Mark Ababon, who was inserted into the game in the last seconds of the third quarter.
The biggest lead of the game was at 22 points, 56-34, on Mark Barroca’s basket at the
8:17 mark of the third quarter.
Ababon and Nat Cruz had a triple and a basket each and Richard Ian Saladaga added four fastbreak points for the Niños’ 16-9 blast that pulled the Cebuano squad to within 60-73 at the 5:05 mark before Yap sank the dagger.
Two more points from the free throws by Yap at the 3:34 mark, virtually wrapped up the game for San Mig Coffee as both teams reshuffled their players to have its third stringers finish the game.
MLKP were trading shots with the Mixers for the first 12 minutes, holding San Mig Coffee to four deadlocks and five lead changes before coach Tim Cone’s boys dominated the second quarter.
San Mig Coffee started the second with a 6-0 run and closed it with a 9-0 blast to lead 46-30 at the bend.
Helping Yap were Peter June Simon, who scored 13 and Ramos added 10 for San Mig Coffee while Abbey Santos and Saladaga topscored for M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala with 11 points each.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2012.