AFTER ousting the three-time champions, the top seeded team of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup is up next for San Mig Coffee and Tim Cone.
And the champion coach that he is, Cone said he’s looking forward to what could be a potential semifinal classic pitting two of the league’s most popular teams.
“I’m really pumped up to play Ginebra,” said Cone after arranging a best-of-seven Final Four series against the Kings on Sunday night after claiming the last semifinal berth of the All-Filipino conference with a 90-82 win over deposed champion Talk `N Text in the deciding Game Three of their quarterfinal showdown.
“It’s always fun to play Ginebra. They bring in the crowd, we bring in the crowd, it’s going to be a fun series.”
It will be the first Final Four meeting between the Kings and Mixers in two years since San Mig eliminated Ginebra, 3-1, for a spot in the Finals of the Commissioners Cup, which the team eventually won.
It will also be the first best-of-seven showdown for the two sister teams for the last 17 years, according to the PBA statistics group.
Cone admitted he relishes the thought of meeting Ginebra in a semifinals series.
“To be honest with you, I was really hoping for an opportunity to play a best-of-seven (against Ginebra)," said the American coach.
But the San Mig coach is aware Ginebra is currently on a high following its emphatic 108-95 win over Alaska in their own do-or-die encounter.
And to think the Mixers will only have a day to prepare before meeting the Kings in Game One of their series starting on Tuesday.
“It’s gonna be tough. Ginebra is coming from such a huge win against Alaska. It’s tough to meet their energy but our guys will get themselves ready,” said Cone.
“It’s a long series, so we’ll work it through if we can.”