Rain or Shine will battle San Mig Coffee today in Game 1 of the best-of-seven titular series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters have the luxury of resting for one week before they face the Coffee Mixers at 8 p.m. tonight. They beat Petron Blaze 97-88 in Game 5 of their semifinals battle on February 7.
In contrast, San Mig Coffee only had a one-day rest before their 25th finals appearance.
But coach Tim Cone said that they are riding on the momentum of their inspiring110-87 triumph against Ginebra in Game 7 on Wednesday.
Coach Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine, who is in his 12th finals is bracing for a tough battle against Cone, the winningest coach in the league with 15 titles. This will be the 56-year-old Cone’s 27th finals appearance since 1989.
“The break at least gave us extra time to heal our little aches and pains. It allows us to keep ourselves fresh for the finals. This team is one year wiser having boosted by our finals stint last year. We should now be more prepared than last year,” said Guiao. The Elasto Painters won the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, their first since joining the league in 2006.
The Coffee Mixers, on the other hand, are aiming for their 11th crown. They have already three All-Filipino titles and two Philippine Cup championships, the last they’ve won in 2009. They are also seeking for their third title under Cone, who joined the team in 2011.
“The last time we played Rain or Shine, the series went on seven games. Honestly, we are a bit deeper than we were. We’re going to go there in Game 1 and see what we can do,” said Cone.