MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee head coach Tim Cone paid the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters a tremendous compliment by saying their PBA Governors Cup Finals opponent plays like the reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs.
"I said it the last time we played, and I think it's a bigger compliment now as it was then, but I think the team I compare them to is the last team that won the NBA championship – I've always said they play like San Antonio," Cone said, as quoted by PBA.ph, during the pre-Finals press conference on Monday.
The best-of-five finals series that starts Tuesday is a rematch of the 2012 PBA Governors Cup Finals, which saw the Elasto Painters outlast the Mixers – then playing as the B-Meg Llamados – in seven games.
"It's always a tremendous challenge going against Coach Yeng (Guiao) because his team is always prepared," Cone noted.
Cone also revealed that even though his team is the defending champion, there are aspects of Rain or Shine's game that they wish to emulate.
"Whether they are up by 20 or down by 20, they play the same way all the time," Cone said. "That's our goal, what we're trying to achieve in our team, and they do that regularly."
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao, for his part, understands that the Mixers are pursuing history as they have a chance to seal a Grand Slam with a victory in the series, but this is none of their concern.
"We're not salivating at the thought of trying to spoil their Grand Slam," said Guiao. "Right after our win against Alaska (in the semi-finals), I told my boys that we're not trying to spoil any Grand Slam."
"Our goal is to win the championship on our own," he stressed.