The San Mig Coffee Mixers and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will battle in a do-or-die Game Five of the titular series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum at 8 p.m. today.
The Elasto Painters’ 88-79 win in Game Four on Monday forced a Game Five. They also won Game Two via overtime (89-87) but lost Game One (101-104) and Game Three (69-78).
“We are just really postponing the party. I hope we have the chance to cancel it on Wednesday. I hope we can sustain the energy that we have in Game Four, that’s what we need to win. It’s really very difficult to maintain and sustain our energy. The season’s scheduling, the fatigue factor is setting in the distractions. We just have to maintain our focus. It’s a good thing on Wednesday. We have to be out there for you,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
Coach Tim Cone, the winningest coach with 16 titles, admitted that the Grand Slam quest has put a lot of pressures on the Coffee Mixers and makes winning a lot more harder.
“No doubt we have more pressure. We’ve realized that, and we have to play through it. Winning a Grand Slam is hard. It’s going to be hard for us. We really felt it that there’s more pressure on us because of the Grand Slam,” said Cone, who is aiming for San Mig’s 13th championship and the team’s fourth straight.
A win by the Coffee Mixers would make the 56-year-old Cone the only coach in the league to win two Grand Slams, the first was with the Alaska Aces in 1996. Besides Cone, only three PBA coaches have won a Grand Slam namely Baby Dalupan with Crispa Redmanizers in 1976, Tommy Manotoc also with Crispa in 1983 and Norman Black with San Miguel Beer in 1989.