SAN Mig coach Tim Cone said the team is motivated to win the PBA Philippine Cup championship for team governor and former coach Ely Capacio, who was rushed to the hospital on the eve of Game Five against Rain or Shine after losing consciousness.
League officials said Capacio, a former PBA player and coach who led Purefoods to the first all-Filipino championship in franchise history in 1991, suffered a stroke.
"Yes, and he will certainly be in our thoughts," said Cone when asked if the team is inspired to win the title for its longtime representative to the league board. "He's been a great friend to the team, a former Purefoods coach and mentor to many of our players.
"(Ely is) a terrific man. He will be in all of our prayers, hoping for a full recovery," Cone added.
No less than PBA commissioner Chito Salud led the prayers for Capacio, known as 'Father' during his playing career, mostly spent with the defunct Tanduay ballclub where he also served briefly as coach.
Capacio, older brother of longtime Purefoods star and now GlobalPort assistant coach Glen Capacio, is currently confined at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa, league officials said.
"The entire PBA family is praying for Mr. Ely Capacio. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this critical time of his health. May he recover quickly with our Lord's divine grace," said Salud in a text message.
San Mig superstar James Yap also wished Capacio well, saying the genial team official is always generous with advice to the players.
"Ambait bait si sir Ely. Siya ang tagapagbigay ng payo sa amin eh. Sana gumaling na agad siya," said the two-time league MVP.