IF there is one team San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone dreads to face in the playoffs, it should be Talk 'N Text.
His reason? Jerome Jordan.
“I scouted Jerome Jordan, and boy, he’s a stud. He’s really good. He’s gonna be a force. I don’t want to face (the Texters) in the playoffs,” said Cone.
After finishing the eliminations with an 8-6 (win-loss) record, San Mig is assured of a place in the Top Four and will face either Barangay Ginebra, Talk 'N Text, or Meralco in a best-of-three quarterfinal series, depending on the results of the final elims playdate of Wednesday.
Given a choice, the multi-titled Cone said he would rather not face the Texters this early in the playoffs after seeing the seven-footer Jordan come away with 23 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks in his debut while holding down Vernon Macklin to 12 points in a 100-86 win over Ginebra on Sunday.
“He’s (Jordan) big and can do a lot of things," gushed the San Mig coach. "He’s a legit seven-footer and he plays like he’s about 6-8 or 6-7. He’s not soft.”
Cone, at least, can count on the Commissioner's Cup reigning best import, Denzel Bowles, who after a shaky start to his return stint with the Mixers is back to playing at a very high level.
Bowles is averaging 22.9 points, 15 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks a game for San Mig and played his best game of the conference on Saturday in a 97-90 win over the Meralco Bolts.
The same holds true for the Mixers, who, after a 0-3 start to the tournament, have shown that they are hitting peak form just as the playoffs approach.
“If you’re gonna pick a time to start playing better, this is the time to start getting better," said Cone.
“After our 0-3 start, making the top five is great and we’ve won eight of 11 (games) already. That’s where we want to be, and hopefully, that primed us for the playoffs,” Cone added.
Cone also doesn't want to take his foot off the pedal.
“(We took) Sunday off, then play on Friday so we have four days to practice. We don’t want to take a bunch of time off. The thing is, we’re gonna go hard and hopefully, stay crisp and sharp and be ready for the playoffs,” he said.