SAN Mig Coffee will attempt to end the best-of-five semifinals series when it battles the Meralco Bolts anew today in Game Four of the 2013 Philippine Basketball Association Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Coffee Mixers exploited the absence of import Mario West who’s nursing a shoulder injury late in the third period to post a 94-87 victory and established a 2-1 lead in the series. They’ve won Game One (83-73) but lost Game Two (69-73).
Coach Ryan Gregorio of Meralco said on Saturday that the result of West’s medical checkup is yet to be known.
“Hopefully, he can play. I really had to admit that it’s hard to win without an import. But we are ready to play all-Filipino. We just need to adjust even if it is already late in the conference,” said Gregorio.
West’s collision with Joe Devance sprained his right shoulder with still 4:27 remaining in the third quarter. The injury prevented him from playing, a chance that the Coffee Mixers grabbed with Alex Mallari notching a career-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field.
And without West to guard San Mig import Marqus Blakely, the latter finished with 21 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, three steals and five blocks.
“Whatever it takes, I really like to play. Even if it is painful. I wanted to help my team win Game Four,” said West.