In a tight defensive struggles, Denzel Bowles step up and give SanMig Coffee Mixers the Game 1 victory.
Denzel Bowles struggled all game, but scored the last six point of the game, including the winning jumper with six seconds left to lift San Mig Coffee over Alaska, 71-69, Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win gave the defending champion Mixers a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series and preserved coach Tim Cone’s perfect record against his former team.
“Denzel, those last three shots, what do you do? What do you do defensively?” Cone said after the game.
“I’ve said this before: Denzel, he’s a big game guy, he’s a big moment guy.”
Denzel Bowles finished with just 12 points. He had a difficult time scoring against the defense of the Aces, who battled the Mixers in a fierce defensive struggle that saw the two teams combine for just 45 points in the first half.
“Honestly, at halftime, I laughed to my coaching staff,” Cone said.
“It wasn’t like we were missing open shots. Everything was just incredibly contested. It was the best defensive half I’ve been a part of in my 24 years of coaching.”
The Mixers got plenty of sparks. Peter June Simon top-scored with 15 points, while Mark Barroca scored all 13 of his points in the third quarter to keep San Mig Coffee afloat. James Yap, meanwhile, once again battled his back problems to finish with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Robert Dozier finished with 21 points for Alaska, which saw no other Aces player score in double-figures.