Rain Or Shine clashes with San Mig for the coveted crown of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters collide with San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in the finals of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup, the stakes for the two teams will go beyond the most prestigious trophy in Philippine basketball. 
The players and the coaches from each of the franchises have a chance to carve out their place in history in the best-of-seven championship affair.
The E-Painters is no doubt the hottest team in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup, having won 12 of its last 13 games on its way to yet another Finals appearance in the season-opening tournament.
And the fact that Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters demolished powerhouse Petron Blaze Boosters in just five games of their semifinals encounter.
Painters coach Yeng Guiao, though, is well aware the Elasto Painters will be up against a San Mig Super Coffee side that is in peak form after watching the Mixers clobber Barangay Ginebra, 110-87, in the deciding Game Seven of their semifinal series on Wednesday.
“Coach Tim (Cone) and San Mig, they are playing their best basketball at least in the last seven or eight games,” said the outspoken Guiao.
“They did not start out well in the conference, but again, that’s (reaching the Finals) a tribute to the resilience of the team and a tribute to the leadership of coach Tim because they found ways to win,” noted the fiery mentor.
Behind such backdrop, Rain or Shine face off with a banged-up San Mig squad starting on Friday night’s Game One of the best-of-seven title series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Guiao is aware his team owns a 2-0 head-to-head match-up against San Mig during the elimination round, but he calls that record “irrelevant” come the Finals.
“Even if coach Tim said we had their number a couple of games, that’s really irrelevant. They’ve gotten better. It’s a whole new story,” uttered Guiao.
“They gotten deeper. Ian Sangalang is making a contribution. Justin Melton is making a contribution. Marc (Pingris) is playing better than previously, and James (Yap) has gotten his shooting back,” he added.
On the other hand, Cone said Thursday was “cram” day for the Mixers, given the one-day window given them to prepare against a well-rested Elasto Painters – or about 24 hours since formally clinching a Finals berth.
“We haven’t had a chance to view the video or do anything. But they (Elasto Painters) are so cohesive that its gonna be a tough series,” said Cone, who has steered the San Mig franchise to its fourth Finals appearance over the last six conferences.
“Luckily, it’s a seven-game (Finals) series. Maybe, we could recover our bearings a game or two, but we’ll just try to prepare and then get the guys rested and hopefully, pull off some surprises tomorrow (Friday),” he added.
An added motivation for San Mig was its loss to Rain or Shine during the 2012 Governors Cup Finals that denied the team a back-to-back championship after winning the Commissioner’s Cup title that same season.
The championship was the first-ever for Rain or Shine since joining the league in 2006.
“We just hava a lot of respect for Rain or Shine.  They have had our number the last few times,” noted Cone.
“When we tried to go (for) back-to-back (titles), when we played Yeng then, we lost in Game Seven.  Now we’ll try to go back-to-back, and still, Rain or Shine is in front of us.”
Franchise History
San Mig Coffee, of course, is at home in the finals of any Philippine Cup tournament. The Purefoods franchise is now on its 14th trip to the title round of an All-Filipino conference.

The Mixers are gunning for their sixth All-Filipino title in franchise history, which would tie them with the legendary Crispa Redmanizers when it comes to championships in the homegrown tournament. If they win, they could make the case for being one of the two greatest franchises when it comes to the All-Filipino tournament.

Rain or Shine, meanwhile, is making its second straight trip to the Philippine Cup finals.
In 39-year history of the PBA, only 13 teams have won the PBA’s All-Filipino trophy. A victory for the Elasto Painters will serve as a ticket to the pantheon of the PBA’s great franchises.

Finals Scenario

Expect an all-out war between two defensive teams as Gilas' big man Marc Pingris will battle the "extra rice incorporated" of JR Quinahan and Beau Belga. The said players will also be the primary defensive weapon of each teams as they go for blocks and offensive and defensive rebounds.

While in offense, an inspired James Yap, Peter June Simon and Marc Barroca will carry the load for the Super Coffee Mixers and will tangle with sparkplug Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan of the E-Painters.

Also expect some key players of each team to contribute from the offensive and defensive end.

This series will be an all-out-war with each team using all their might to come up victorious.

Game 1 will be on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum with each teams going to draw first blood.

--- with reports from Spin.ph

Rain Or Shine clashes with San Mig for the coveted crown of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup Rain Or Shine clashes with San Mig for the coveted crown of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/13/2014 Rating: 5

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