San Mig Coffee Mixers, the 2013 Governor’s Cup Champion had a tough but sweet journey to earn their tenth PBA crown as the original Purefoods TJ Hotdogs franchise.
Coming up short in the first two conferences of the 2013 PBA season, the SanMig Coffee Mixers headed by the multi-titled coach Tim Cone started the 2013 PBA Governor’s Cup reinforced by Marqus Blakely to continue his unfinished business last year.
The Mixers started out the conference without their star forward Marc Pingris who previously competed in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship as a member of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas squad who won the silver medal and a privilege to join the prestigious FIBA World Cup to be held in Spain next year.
Marc Pingris played his first game of the conference to help his team get out of a two game losing streak. Pingris led SanMig Coffee Mixers played against the All Filipino Champions Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters in a 118-99 victory over the All Filipino Perpetual Champions.
After the win against the TNT Tropang Texters, SMC Mixers again lost their fourth game of the Governor’s Cup against the Petron Blaze Boosters. The Mixers then became the last seed in the standings with their sister team Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel.
SanMig Coffee Mixers despite the slow start in the first half of the eliminations bolstered in their next games having a five-game winning streak including the game against the Global Port Batang Pier in which Marc Pingris was ejected after a controversial brawl against Kelly Nabong in the third quarter of the game. Pingris was then suspended for two games as a punishment.
Despite having the 0-2 start, the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup Champions finished the eliminations in the number two spot with 2 games behind the number one- Petron Blaze Boosters and clinching a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
San Mig Coffee Mixers faced their rival Alaska Aces in the quarterfinals. The Aces and the Mixers previously faced each other in the semifinals of the last conference where the Aces defeated the defending champions in a four game series.
The Alaska Aces defeated the SanMig Coffee Mixers 112-105 to force a do-or-die game.
SanMig Coffee Mixers headed by BIC (Best Import of the Conference) candidate Marqus Blakely faced their arch-rival on September 27, 2013. The Mixers started out the game strong, Marqus Blakely led his team in the first half of the game with the help of Joe Devance and Allein Maliksi. But Allein Maliksi got a bad collision with Alaska’s Sonny Thoss in the second quarter of action. Maliksi went to the locker room after the serious collision with Thoss, he wasn’t able to finish the game but still manage to record 10 points in 6 minutes playing time.
The second half started with an amazing exchange of blows, Alaska made a run to tie and get the lead against the Mixers. But SanMig countered with great defense and an amazing game from Joe Devance and Marqus Blakely finishing the game with 12 and 30 points respectively in an 83-73 win against the Aces. The Mixers successfully won the series to face the Meralco Bolts in the semis.
With the accidental collision of Allein Maliksi, the prolific sophomore injured his ACL and expected to be out for 6-8 months making him unable to play in the next round.
The San Mig Coffee Mixers faced the No. 4 Meralco Bolts in the semifinals of the 2013 Governor’s Cup. Big Game James Yap led his team throughout the series with the help of their all around import Marqus Blakely. James Yap despite struggling in his offense in the past few games showed his fans that he’s not yet over. Doing a great job defending the Bolt’s import Mario West and showing his “million moves”, Yap together with his teammates such as Mark Barroca eliminated the Bolt’s in a four game series, three wins to one.
Meanwhile, the top seeding Petron Blaze Boosters dethroned the reigning champs, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters also in a four game semifinal series.
The San Mig Coffee Mixers and Petron Blaze Boosters faced each other in the Finals of the 2013 PBA Governor’s Cup. SMC Mixers and Petron Blaze Boosters are both owned by the San Miguel Corporation, thus making the Finals a battle of sister teams fighting for the honor of being the crown jewel of the San Miguel Corporation.
The Boosters drew first blood defeating San Mig Coffee 100-84. The top gunners of Petron led by Marcio Lassiter punished San Mig Coffee by burying multiple 3 pointers all around the rainbow country.
Before the Game 2 of the Finals started, the Governor’s Cup Conference Awardees were announced. The Petron Blaze Booster’s start forward Arwind Santos was named as the Best Player of the Conference while San Mig’s Marqus Blakely was awarded as the Best Import of the Conference.
Motivated by the Bobby Parks Best Import award, Marqus Blakely together with his teammates started out the game strong. Playing good defense and executing the triangle offense very well the San Mig Coffee Mixers got the lead in the first quarter of action. James Yap led his team by scoring 9 points in the first period of the ball game.
As being said, “Defense is the best Offense” San Mig Coffee Mixers played a great defensive game against Petron. The Mixers became successful in defending the 6 feet 9 inches rookie JuneMar Fajardo who has became a big weapon of Petron all throughout the conference. James Yap who had just previously established himself as a good defender, became successful in defending men younger than him such as Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz limiting Lassiter to just 10 points and Lutz to none.
The San Mig Coffee Mixers successfully tied the series to one game a piece. James Yap was named Best Player of the Game finishing 17 points, 8 boards and three dimes.
On Game 3 of the Best-of-7 series between Petron and San Mig, Booster’s star point guard Alex Cabagnot wasn’t able to play due to some injury problems. But despite the injury of Cabagnot, Petron Blaze Boosters were able to do their job and defeating San MIg Coffee Mixers in a blow out game 90-68.
The 2013 PBA Season Awards or known as the Leo Awards were held before the Game 4 of the PLDT Telpad Governor’s Cup Finals. Several stars were awarded such as JV Casio, Nino Canaleta, and Rookie of the Year- Calvin Abueva.
Marc Pingris of the San Mig Coffee MIxers was awarded as a member of the All Defensive Team and Second Mythical Team. Meanwhile, Best Player of the Conference Arwind Santos was also named as a member of the All Defensive Team and First Mythical Team, and of course he was also named as the 2013 PBA Season Most Valuable Player.
The game started with the amazing exchange of blows from both teams but suddenly San Mig Coffee went to a nine to nothing run against Petron to make the scoreboard 17-8. Elijah Millsap and JuneMar Fajardo teamed up to stop the Mixers but Blakely together with Devance is decisive to punish the Boosters finishing the first quarter 33-13.
San Mig Coffee continued to bury Petron in the second quarter. James Yap, Mark Barroca and PJ Simon joined the scoring party for San Mig scoring all around the court. Reigning MVP Arwind Santos tried to put Petron back in the game but Blakely and his squad just keep on firing to end the first half 52-29.
Despite having a bad game in the first half of the action, the Petron Blaze Boosters didn’t give up and suddenly the San Mig Coffee offense went to a drought bringing the Boosters close in 67-63 by the end of the third.
Trailing Petron kept on going to cut the lead of San Mig. Fajardo started to fire up giving difficulty to the big men of San Mig. Lassiter and Fajardo together with their import Elijah Millsap finally got the lead for Petron after a hit by Marcio Lassiter in the rainbow country.
The Gilas Superstar Marc Pingris didn’t let Petron get further, challenging his Gilas teammate and “Ka-Dota” June Mar Fajardo in the post. Pingris showed experience against the rookie, scoring back to back points from the shaded area. Marc Barroca joined Pingris to regain the lead back to San Mig. But the number one in the eliminations, Petron Blaze Boosters led by Elijah stared a showdown against the Mixers.
With two minutes remaining in the fourth, Marqus Blakely missed one of his two shots from the charity line causing Elijah Millsap to hit a jumper and tie the game in the last minutes of the 4th period. “Coffee Prince” Mark Barroca saves the day for San MIg with a key defensive rebound with 21.9 seconds remaining in the game. The Boosters were forced to give up a foul that put Barroca in the free throw line. Making the two free throws, Coffee Prince brought San Mig to a two-point-lead. Coach Gee Abanilla called a timeout to set up the last play, but unfortunately MVP Arwind Santos turned the ball over giving San Mig the possession. The Mixers successfully drained some time until Petron fouled Peter June Simon with 12 seconds remaining in the clock. Simon made the two free throws making San Mig up by four. But veteran point guard, Chico Lanete finds Elijah for a lob pass and an alley-oop and one. Millsap made the bonus free throw making Petron trailing by just one point. Petron intentionally fouled the San Mig Coffee superstar James Yap to put him in the line but surprisingly, Yap missed both of the charities. Luckily, BIC Marqus Blakely forced a jump ball against his rival Elijah Millsap. San Mig won the tip-off and Petron gave a foul to their former player, Alex Mallari. Mallari splits in the line with 3.2 seconds remaining. Petron has no timeout left so, Marcio Lassiter was forced to hit a hail mary from the back court but he didn’t make it. San Mig Coffee Mixers won the game 88-86, to tie the series two games all.
After the nail bitter Game Four win over Petron, San Mig again won Game Five of the Finals, winning back to back games and leading the series 3-2. Mark Barroca the hero of Game 4, had a great game in from the three-point-line. Petron still tried to get back in the game headed by Millsap together with Fajardo, but “Big Game” James Yap hit a clutch three pointer and followed by his signature one handed shot putting San Mig away Petron 114-103.
With Alex Cabagnot back in his game, Petron Blaze Boosters forced a sudden death against San MIg Coffee Mixers in a 99-88 victory in Game Six of the PLDT Telpad Governor’s Cup Finals.
With lots of excitement and expectation, the 2013 Season has come to an end. With two teams tied on three games a piece battling for the last championship of the year. The Petron Blaze Boosters and San Mig Coffee Mixers went to a 7 game series for the Governor’s Cup Championship.
Both teams led by their respective imports and stars played an exciting and unpredictable Game Seven. Both exchanging blows, hitting treys, slam dunks, blocks and so much, basketball fans surely had a lot of fun watching the classic Game Seven.
With San Mig stars such as James Yap, PJ Simon, and Marc Pingris having a good game, the faced their rival Petron Blaze Boosters headed by Elijah Millsap and MVP Arwind Santos.
The first half of action was a great game for the both teams, no team had established a great lead unlike in their past matches. Although, San Mig Coffee was able to hit a 6 point lead in the first quarter. But Petron countered with their own six-to-nothing run ending the first quarter 19 all.
The great game continued in the second quarter, James Yap and PJ Simon teamed up together with Marqus Blakely. On the other hand, Millsap, Santos and Fajardo attacked the San Mig Coffee’s defense. The first half of action ended 41-39 with San Mig up by two.
The second half started with a jam from Millsap to tie the score 41 all. The two teams both exchanging points and registering multiple lead changes but the good defense of San Mig Coffee Mixers paved way in the second half. Marc Pingris led his team approaching the fourth and last quarter of the season. Petron Big Man June Mar Fajardo was a oh-so-big and hard to stop but the “Pinoy Sakuragi” with the help of Joe Devance and Yancy De Ocampo successfully overcame the big nightmare brought by the number one overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft.
As the game ends and clock winding down, San Mig has the lead. While Marc Pingris was in the charity line sometime in the closing minutes of the fourth, San Mig fans were all shouting and chanting MVP! MVP! MVP! as the Gilas star lead his team not only in scoring but also defensive wise. The 1000 Offensive Rebounds Club Member Marc Pingris was gathering every key offensive boards making his nickname as “Pinoy Sakuragi” or “Hari ng Rebound” remarkable. The then, four time PBA Champion became emotional in the closing seconds of the game while taking some free throws as his team is only seconds to win the Governor’s Cup Championship. Mark Barroca took two free throws to seal the deal for San Mig Coffee Mixers.
After coming up short in their last year final series against Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, San Mig finally won 87-77 winning the Governor’s Cup Championship.
This the tenth championship of the original Purefoods franchise and second in the “Tim Cone Era”. Multi-titled coach Tim Cone finally tied his idol Baby Dalupan as the Most Winningest Coach in PBA with 15 championships a piece. Cone won his first 13 championships as head coach of a Grandslam Champions Alaska Aces before leaving to become the head coach of the now “crown jewel” of the San Miguel Corporation ball clubs.
Marc “Pinoy Sakuragi” Pingris was named as Finals MVP finishing with 19 points and 17 boards in Game 7 of their Championship Journey.