MANILA, Philippines – For its domineering performance in the classification round and against Burger King in the Final Four, the talent-laden San Miguel Beer has been picked as the prohibitive favorite over an injury-plagued Barangay Ginebra side in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Cup title playoff beginning tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.
“San Miguel has been the team that has played well all conference and that is the kind of team that is a safe pick. I think it would be SMB in five games,” said Alaska coach Tim Cone.
“San Miguel has so much depth. I go for them in six games,” said Coca-Cola coach Kenneth Duremdes.
Coach Chot Reyes, taking a break from the Talk n Text team training in Las Vegas, also predicted an SMB triumph in six games.
Although he feels it would be a close fight, Purefoods coach Ryan Reyes also had San Miguel as the slight pick in the best-of-seven series.
Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez, however, expects the titular showdown to go the full route although he refused to predict which team would win it.
“San Miguel has the edge in manpower but Ginebra could neutralize it with its tremendous crowd support. I think import strength, coaching, and desire to win are all equal,” said Fernandez.
For Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, the defending champion Kings remain the underdog in the series.
“We had to work our way up from a 2-5 start. We’re hounded by injuries. Good thing, we got some key acquisitions at midstream. Cyrus Baguio is a big addition to us,” said Uichico.
SMB coach Siot Tanquingcen admits he has more talented players in his roster but stressed that doesn’t guarantee success.