MANILA, Philippines – Basketball action between San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine will resume on Saturday when they clash again in the third installment of their PBA Governors' Cup best-of-5 title duel.
Games 1 and 2 have been thrilling displays of heart and intensity for both squads and they expect Game 3 to be no different.
“Rain or Shine made all the big shots in Game 2 this time and we didn’t respond well. Just the opposite of what happened in Game 1,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the PBA website, referring to their 87-89 overtime loss in Game 2.
“Two tough, very close games,” added Cone. “I’m not expecting anything less in Game 3.”
Game 3 will be crucial for the Coffee Mixers, who want to win the first PBA Grand Slam in 18 years.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said his locals will have to step up to ease the load off Arizona Reid.
The two-time Best Import awardee saved the Elasto Painters in Game 2 via his dagger 3-pointer during the extra period.
“AZ (Reid) has been carrying the battle for us and I expect that they’re going to gang up on him,” said Guiao. “We have to have our locals ready and not rely on AZ carrying us on his shoulders. Everybody else must step up, especially the rest of the bench.”
The Elasto Painters, who tasted a 101-104 defeat in the series opener, know they will have to ride on the momentum of their Game 2 win to stop the dangerous Coffee Mixers.
To do that, they will have to cuff San Mig’s “Big Game” James Yap and import Marqus Blakely.
Guiao is particularly concerned about Yap, who has been averaging 18 points in the series.
“The last two games James has been hurting us. We’ll try to see if we can minimize his effectivity (sic). He’s really been a thorn in our side,” he said.
Blakely has been low profile in Games 1 and 2, but could potentially explode in Game 3.
“We cannot take him for granted. He could score anywhere from 20 to 25 points in a game, so we’re not letting our guards down on him,” Guiao said.