ASIDE from being able to rest their aching bodies, San Mig coach Tim Cone hopes the Mixers have had enough time in the past two days to get refocused as they try to finish off Rain or Shine in Game Six of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers’ victory party was derailed on Sunday when the Elasto Painters leaned on Jeff Chan’s red-hot second half shooting to pull off an 81-74 win in Game Five.
While the Mixers are still ahead, 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, Cone said clinching the title requires mental toughness for his team considering the Elasto Painters’ gung-ho approach to the title series.
“I thought we played really well (in Game Five), but we felt we lacked the concentration in the game,” said Cone. “This (title series) is gonna be a battle to the end, but we’ll just take Game Six and not worry about what happened in Game Five or not think about Game Seven.”
For his part, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said he is again shortening his rotation for Game Six as he tries to get premium effort from his veterans led by Chan, Paul Lee, Quinahan and Beau Belga.
“I purposely decided to shorten my rotation because there’s really no margin for error na ngayon,” said Guiao, who needs to win on Wednesday to forge a winner-take-all Game Seven on Friday.
“I’m sure the rookies will understand that (shortening of rotation) because, I have tried and given them (rookies) their breaks. Underandably, this (championship series) is not the best time to play (them) long minutes,” he added.
“Iyung experience, yung wisdom of the veteran players is siguro, of more premium in this (do-or-die) situation kaya nag-shorten na ako ng rotation.”
Forward Marc Pingris is again expected to play through the pain of a right eye abrasion.
Wearing protective lens on his right eye, Pingris registered a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds in the Mixers’ losing effort just days after getting poked in the right eye by Rain or Shine’s burly forward JR Quinahan during a rebound scramble in the third period of Game Four.