DEFENSE is the key for San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone while Rain or Shine’s Yeng Guiao wants better shooting percentage in Game 3 of the best-of-seven titular series on Wednesday in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Both teams are locked 1-1 in the series following an 80-70 win by the Coffee Mixers in Game 2 on Sunday to avenge a heartbreaking 80-83 setback in Game One on Friday. Even as the victory was their first in four games with the Elasto Painters in the conference, Cone said they have already the momentum and would ride on it to break the tie.
”We struggled all game long with our offense. But I’m not worried. It’s a seven-game series and like I’ve said, the longer this series takes, the better for us. Winning Game One gives us that advantage, the adjustment advantage. Now, we can go make the adjustments and the series is still even,” said the six-time champion Guiao.
He cited their low 37.2 percent shooting in the field and 50 percent conversion in the foul line as the big factor for Game 2 woes. They were also six-of-26 in the three-point area for only 23.1 accuracy.
Ryan Arana, who is nursing a left shoulder injury is a doubtful starter when San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine collide at 8 p.m.
For the Coffee Mixers, the two-day break is enough to refresh their energy coming from a gruelling 2-1 edge over Talk ‘N Text in the quarterfinals and tough 4-3 battle against Ginebra Kings in the other semifinal match.
”I just feel that we are evolving into a big-game team. They are not afraid of playing any series. We feel that the closer it gets down to the end, the better chance we have because our guys are used to playing big games,” added Cone.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer named long-time assistant coach Melchor “Biboy” Ravanes as its new interim head coach replacing Gee Abanilla, who was elevated to the team manager position starting in the 39th Commissioners Cup set to unfold on March 7.