SMC’s final push

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


MANILA—San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone warned his wards against complacency while coach Yeng Guiao refused to give up and vowed a strong comeback in Game 5 of the best-of-seven titular series of the 39th PBA Philippine cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

The 15-time champion coach Cone, who is aiming for the Coffee Mixers’ 11th crown and second straight, reminded his team that a 3-1 lead is not a guarantee for winning the championship.

He cited an experience in 2006 Philippine cup semifinals with Alaska when they lost a 3-1 lead to Purefoods, then led by James Yap.

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“You’ve got to keep pushing. You’ve got to keep working against a team like this. Rain or Shine doesn’t change their game, whether they’re up or they’re down.

Whether they’re up 3-1 in the series or down 1-3 in the series, I’m sure they will continue to play their game at a very, very high level,” said Cone.
Coach Yeng Guiao of the Elasto Painters, on the other hand, remained unfazed but instead expressed disgust over several calls by the referees that cost their game, 93-90, last Friday.

“There were at least two or three bailout calls on us. One was on Jeff (Chan) with time running down on the shot clock against (Joe) Devance. I thought it was good defense.

Another one was the very late call on Beau Belga, I think it was on (Marc) Pingris. The last play we set up, (Mark) Barroca was clearly holding on to the jersey of JR Quiñahan. We didn’t get any of those breaks.

So I just felt that those calls cost us the game,” said Guiao.

San Mig lost the opening game in the series, 83-80, but bounced back in the second with an 80-70 triumph.

They went on to win Game 3, 77-76 last Wednesday.
“It was a tough loss in Game 4. But we’re not giving up this series until it’s over. We’ll come back Sunday.

We’ll try to get back into the series. But we’re definitely not giving it up. It’s another close game and we didn’t just get the breaks in the endgame,” he said.

Guiao will again lean on star guard Paul Lee, who scored 23 points on 53.8 percent shooting from the field in Game Three. The 6’1” second overall pick in 2011, improved with five triples to finish with 28 points on 52.9 percent shooting clip in Game 4. FCC

“Kung ano pang natitirang lakas sa katawan ko. Ibibigay ko na on Sunday. Kasi wala nang bukas para sa ‘min eh. Sobrang hirap manalo in this series kaya ‘yung next game sa Sunday pinakamahirap na game na yun. Dito mas-test ‘yung character namin,” said Lee.

Meanwhile, San Mig forward Marc Pingris will be able to see action on Sunday. Dr. Raffy Sanchez said that the 6’4” Pingres suffered a scratch on his right cornea but he is already okay after accidentally being poked by Quiñahan in the third quarter of Game 4.

“He’ll definitely play on Sunday. In fact, if he feels OK tomorrow, he can practice. If he’s still not OK by tomorrow, we will put a contact lens just to expedite the healing process.

It’s nothing serious really. It’s just an abrasion. It’s too annoying, it’s too painful, but in 24 hours, he’ll be fine,” said Sanchez. FCC

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 23, 2014.

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