SAN Mig Coffee will attempt to snare its first Grand Slam when it battle Rain or Shine today in Game Four of the best-of-five titular series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Coffee Mixers, fresh from their 78-69 triumph en route to a 2-1 lead in the series on Saturday, can wrap up its 13th championship crown and their fourth straight if they win over the Elasto Painters in their 8 p.m. battle. And most importantly it could earn coach Tim Cone his 17th title and second Grand Slam.
Rain or Shine’s offensive will be anchored on import Arizona Reid, a Best Import award recipient. They won Game One (104-101) but lost Game Two in overtime (87-89) on Thursday.
“Rain or Shine is the mentally strongest team you’ll play, they don’t break. It’s game of shots; it’s a game of big stops. We have to battle all the way and continue to battle them. It’s a game of possession by possession because of their mental strength. Nothing seems to faze them,” said the 16-time titlist Cone, who won his first Grand Slam with the Alaska Aces in 1989.
A win by the Coffee Mixers today will make them just the fourth team in the league’s history to win a Grand Slam after the Crispa Redmanizers (1976 and 1983), San Miguel Beer (1989) and Alaska (1989). Cone, on the other hand, could become the only coach to win two Grand Slams. Other coaches who accomplished the feat were Baby Dalupan (Crispa), Tommy Manotoc (Crispa) and Norman Black (San Miguel Beer).
However, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao remains optimistic and vowed to extend the series to Game 5.
“We’re down 1-2 but I don’t think it’s the end. I don’t think it’s going to end on Monday. We also fell behind 1-2 against Alaska and we won the next two games during the semifinals round. We hope to do the same thing here,” said Guiao.