Banking on defense

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


MANILA—Defense is 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 today in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Both teams are locked in 1-1 deadlock in the best-of-seven finals series. The Coffee Mixers put the series on even terms after a 80-70 win in Game 2 last Sunday.
Talk ‘N Text won Game 1, 83-80, last Friday.

Even as the victory was their first in four games with the Elasto Painters in the conference, Cone said they have the momentum and would ride on it to break the tie.

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Guiao for his part said said they will be making adjustments in their offense to win Game 3.

“We struggled all game-long (in Game 2) 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 1 gives us that advantage. Now, we can go make the adjustments and the series is still even,” said the six-time champion coach 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.

“We need to find the proper adjustments and execute better in Game 3. San Mig Coffee is too experienced a team. We can’t afford to let them seize the initiative,” added Guiao, whose Elasto Painters needed only five games to frustrate Petron Blaze, 4-1 in the semis.

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 replenish their energy coming
from a gruelling 2-1 edge over Talk ‘N Text in the quarterfinals and a tough 4-3 battle against Ginebra Kings in the other semis match.

“I just feel that we are evolving into a big-game team. The players 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 elivated to the team manager position starting in the 39th Commissioners cup set to unfold on March 7.

American consultant Todd Purves, the former coach of the Indonesian Warriors was also reported to have a “more active role” at the sidelines. Ravanes of Naga, Cebu is the fourth head coach of the SMB franchise in the last three seasons after Ato Agustin, Olsen Racela and Abanilla.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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