SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone may have won the latest round of his long-running rivalry with Rain or Shine's Yeng Guiao, but he only has respect and admiration for the enemy.
Moments after San Mig survived a torrid Rain or Shine comeback to pull off a 93-92 victory at the Big Dome, Cone reserved his biggest praise for their opponents, going as far as comparing the Elasto Painters to the San Antonio Spurs and their coach to Greg Popovich.
The way Guiao has turned Rain or Shine into a tough, fighting unit that plays consistently from the first minute to the last, regardless of which team it was facing, reminds him of the very same qualities that have made Popovich's Spurs perennial title contenders in the NBA, Cone said.
“Kinda reminds me of Popovich,” said Cone of Guiao after the hard-earned win. “They play the same offense and defense. They just keep coming back.”
What makes the Elasto Painters tough to beat is that they play with the same intensity from beginning to end, Cone said.
“His (Yeng Guiao) teams play the same way all the time. They don’t change. They play the same tempo, they play the same defense and offense from the first minute to the 48th minute. It doesn’t matter what the score is,” Cone said.
The multi-titled coach said that it is that consistency that makes Rain or Shine a strong team even though the ballclub doesn't have a superstar in its lineup.
“They stay consistent while the other teams, they tend to change their play depending on the score. Some teams play a little faster on taking shots, but this team stays consistent and that’s what makes them tough in my opinion,” Cone said.
“I always say that with San Antonio,” he added.