MANILA, Philippines – The protagonists of last season's Governors Cup finals meet again tonight as the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers take on the San Miguel Beermen in what is expected to be another tough showdown between the two rivals.
San Mig Coffee outlasted the Beermen in their best-of-seven finals series last year, touching off a spectacular run of three straight championships.
But San Mig head coach Tim Cone says he is expecting the Beermen to be a "huge hurdle" for the Mixers in tonight's game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
"San Miguel is one of the best teams out there, if not the best. No doubt, they are going to be a huge hurdle for us," Cone told PBA.ph. "We're hoping we can continue to integrate Marqus (Blakely) and Allein (Maliksi) in the rotation, and improve as the conference progresses."
San Mig had kicked off its Governors Cup title defense with a 76-66 victory over the Barako Bull Energy last Wednesday.
"It's a short conference," Cone noted. "Every game is crucial."
San Miguel, meanwhile, has a 1-1 record. They booked their first win of the conference just last Friday, when JunMar Fajardo tallied 28 points and 18 rebounds to power the Beermen to a 97-92 win over Rain or Shine.
"We hope our game the last time will boost our confidence and build our momentum," San Miguel coach Biboy Ravanes said. "Going up against San Mig is always a tall order on both defense and offense."
"They're a champion team who knows what it takes to win. In order to have a chance against them, we have to bring our A game and we have to be consistent, especially our locals," he added.
A win for San Mig will allow them to tie the idle Air21 Express and Barangay Ginebra for a share of the lead in the Governors Cup.
Game time is at 5:15 p.m.