Mendoza: Will San Mig’s ‘Batman’ show up in Game 5?

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, February 7, 2014


THE Barangay Ginebra Wednesday meltdown was averted because San Mig Coffee had a missing link: Batman.

And that missing link should reappear today if the Mixers wish to retake the driver’s seat in Game 5 against Barangay Ginebra in their semifinal series for the PBA Philippine Cup.

“The breaks were on our side that’s why we won,” said Ato Agustin, the never-say-die coach waving a scary 85-82 Ginebra win Wednesday that tied their semifinal series at 2-2 in the PBA Philippine Cup.

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Partly true. Partly false.

It was partly true because Ginebra lost a 16-point lead on a blistering 18-0 run by San Mig Coffee as the Mixers erased a 54-70 deficit to grab a 72-70 margin early in the fourth.

Any team with all its willpower subjected to the severest test after absorbing that blast would have wilted.

But “the breaks” referred to by Agustin came mainly through 20-point top scorer Mac Baracael, who keyed crucial counter-attacks by Ginebra highlighted by a three-point play for a 78-76 margin that triggered the Gin Kings victory.

Partly true because San Mig flubbed all-important free throws down the stretch, with James Yap flunking three and Ian Sangalang two—Yap’s third stinker missing the Mixers’ chance to tie up the game at 80 with 1:36 remaining.

And, yes, partly false because San Mig had itself hobbled by the missing link: Marc “Batman” Barroca.

The hero in San Mig’s two wins in Games 1 and 3, Batman Barroca was hardly seen with his cape on and struggled to a “mere” 10 points; he was harmless when he was needed most.

The question, thus, is asked: Will Batman show up tonight and reshow the way to victory for San Mig and be just a game away from another shot at a crown two straight?

Remember: San Mig Coffee was also the winner of the PBA’s yearend crown, defeating Petron Blaze in seven grueling games.

But Ginebra, behind Baracael’s consistency that somehow also helped offset Japeth Aguilar’s almost game-long anemic play in Game 4 (just 7 points), is not one to be intimidated. The half of its Twin Towers, 7-footer Greg Slaughter, will help ensure that tonight.

More popcorn, please?

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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