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Tough defense help San Mig Coffee to win the game

InterAKTV | 6:16 PM | 0 comments
San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone dug deep into his bag of tricks with his Mixers facing elimination in their Philippine Cup semifinals series against Rain or Shine.

After their Game Five victory, Cone credited his team’s switching defense to try to halt the Elasto Painters’ vaunted attack — and for at least this match, the tactic worked.

Rain or Shine shot just 32.9 percent from the field, including 4-of-26 from beyond the arc. Cone played only three big men — Marc Pingris, Joe Devance, and Rafi Reavis — all game long, and instructed them to use their quickness to chase the Elasto Painters’ deadly guards along the perimeter.

Mark Barroca also performed well, hounding Rain or Shine’s point guards from baseline to baseline and setting the tone for the Mixers’ defense.

Only one Rain or Shine player, Larry Rodriguez, scored in double figures with 14 points. The Elasto Painters’ top guns, Lee and Jeff Chan, were both miserable from the field. Lee scored eight points but was just 3-of-12 from the field, while Chan was even worse, scoring just three points on 1-of-8 shooting.

But the defensive adjustment also had some casualties in the San Mig Coffee rotation. Yancy De Ocampo, who has started at center for the team through most of the tournament, did not play a single minute.

“They’ve been picking on him defensively, and we haven’t gotten enough from him offensively,” said Cone, who said De Ocampo could still see action later in the series.

Clash of styles

Cone noted that the series is a clash of styles between his system and that of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who prefers to spread out minutes among his players.

While he said he admires Guiao’s system, Cone said it’s not for him. “As my mother would say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” said Cone. “We’re gonna stay through a seven, eight-man rotation.”

But a big key for the Mixers, according to Cone, is getting contributions from role players who only make short appearances during games. He praised Jonas Villanueva, JC Intal, and Wesley Gonzales for playing hard in their limited minutes without complaints.

“They said, ‘Give me two minutes and I’m gonna play with all my heart,” said Cone.
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