Mendoza: Why Petron was overtaken by San Mig-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
SAN Mig Coffee is now in the Finals and, as I was writing this column on Monday, the best-placed candidate to clinch the other championship slot was merely hours away from trying to accomplish it at the Cubao Big Dome in Quezon City.
Petron Blaze needed only to beat Rain or Shine on Monday to arrange the title clash with San Mig Coffee for the PBA Governors Cup.
The Fuel Boosters missed pocketing the first Finals slot when they dropped a 92-87 decision to the Elasto Painters on Saturday.
If you ask me, Petron Blaze should have advanced ahead of San Mig Coffee had Elijah Millsap not dished out a Saturday stinker before a stunned weekend crowd.
For the first time in 12 games, Millsap, the league’s strongest bet for the Most Valuable Import award, produced only 17 points. That was way below his average of almost 30 points a game; in another game alone, Millsap unloaded 41 points as his hi-octane game tremendously helped power Petron Blaze to 11 straight wins going to Saturday’s Game 3 clash with Rain or Shine.
Petron management had already prepared a lavish victory party for a much-anticipated win by the Boosters on Saturday that could have meant a rare 3-0 semifinal sweep of Rain or Shine, the defending champion.
But it didn’t happen. Petron lost—miserably even as its pillar of an import sputtered, shockingly even into the homestretch.
Was Millsap suffering from a bum stomach, or a toothache maybe?
Not at all.
Then how come he did not even buy a single basket in Game 3’s fourth and last quarter?
Look at Marqus Blakely. Because of his game-long hustle and huge fighting heart in Sunday’s Game 4, Blakely had inspired James Yap and Mark Pingris to give it their all.
Yap’s 19 and Pingris’s 16 were more than enough back-up to the game-high 23 of Blakely, resulting in San Mig’s Finals-slot 79-73 clinching victory.
Should Petron Blaze lose for the second time on Monday , thereby allowing long-shot Rain or Shine to forge a 2-2 standoff, I will have Millsap investigated by Sen. TG Guingona for his PDAF (Points Deducted Again Freely). I am serious.
TG is my good neighbor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 08, 2013.