The Best: The Mixers continued to roll, utilizing suffocating defense to limit the Tropang Texters to just 36% FG shooting. They also outrebounded TNT, 55-45, and forced 15 errors from coach Norman Black’s crew. Not surprisingly, Gilas PF Marc Pingris led the fight for SMC, recording a sublime 10-point, 13 rebound, 2 block performance. The Mixers remained unbeaten since the new year and are arguably the most dangerous team at this point in the conference.
The Worst: Jayson Castro pumped in 24 markers to lead all scorers in this game, but TNT got little else from the starting unit. Ranidel De Ocampo was the only other starter to score in double-digits with 11, while Ali Peek, Larry Fonacier, and newcomer KG Cañaleta combined for just 13 points total. Cañaleta, despite his impressive resume, visibly struggled here. It was clear he was still getting used to the plays of TNT and the rhythm/flow of their game. He shot 3/10 from the field and turned the ball over 2 times.
Stepping Up: Outside of SMC’s big names — James Yap, Pingris, and Mark Barroca to name a few — several role players have really stepped up big time for coach Tim Cone. The tandem of Yancy De Ocampo and Rafi Reavis delivered in this one, combining for 15 rebounds and helping limit TNT’s bigs from being effective. The most impressive one, however, was PJ Simon, who continued his splendid shooting for the Mixers. SMC has won five straight as of now, and in all those games, Simon was the x-factor. He is averaging close to 19 points per game, while also shooting 55% from the floor, in the Mixers’ last five wins . - Rappler.com