SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone maintains high respect for Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao for whipping up the Elasto Painters into a mean fighting squad in the compact 39th PBA season.
“It’s always a tremendous challenge going against coach Yeng. This team (Rain or Shine) is prepared (for the Finals),” Cone said in Tuesday’s press conference at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Eastwood City, Libis for the PBA Governors Cup Finals.
Cone likened Rain or Shine to newly-crowned NBA champions San Antonio Spurs for their consistency.
“I’ve always said they (Elasto Painters) played more like the San Antonio Spurs more than any team in the league,” said Cone, who is gunning for his 18th PBA title since beginning his coaching career with Alaska in 1989.
“I mean that by saying whether they are down 20 points or they are up by 20 points, they play the game the same way. And that’s the goal we try to achieve, but they do it regularly,” he added.
Cone believes Rain or Shine has gotten only better and more mature after the Elasto Painters’ six-game loss to the Mixers in the Philippine Cup Finals and a 0-3 shutout at the hands of Talk ’N Text in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
“We all get better, and they are consistent. They are a much mature team,” explained the 56-year-old American coach.
San Mig import Marqus Blakely will be looking to win his second straight PBA championship in his third straight tour of duty in the PBA, while Rain or Shine’s Arizona Reid is playing in the PBA Finals for first time after three tries.
The championship series opener is on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.