THE 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup opens today with three matches in three different locations: Barangay Ginebra battles Governor’s cup champions San Mig Coffee at 3 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum, defending champion Talk ‘N Text takes on Meralco Bolts also at 3:00 p.m. at the Cebu City Coliseum while Rain or Shine battles Alaska Aces at the USEP gym in Davao City, at 5:15 p.m.
The Coffee Mixers, a semifinalist in the same conference last year, will start their campaign with 6’6 rookie Ian Sangalang, a second overall pick in the rookie draft in October and 6’7 Isaac Holstein. The two rookies beefed up the San Mig roster that includes 6’9 Yancy de Ocampo, 6’8 Rafi Reavis and 6’7 Joe Devance. Two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap and veterans Marc Pingres and June Peter Simon are expected to lead coach Tim Cone’s triangular offense along with Alex Mallari and Mark Barroca.
Meanwhile, a one-minute of silence and prayer will be offered for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas before the games commence.
“The ferocity of competition they will see on opening day will in no way be reflective of our lack of understanding of what truly matters in life and sympathy for those affected. Rather, it will be a showcase of the brave heart of our players who all want to serve as an inspiration to our countrymen at this time,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud