RoS, B-Meg duel on
Painters eye first title; Llamados seek 2nd straightBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
RAIN or Shine, a team seeking to end an already historic campaign with a title, and a B-Meg squad never lacking in desire collide tonight at the start of what is seen as a long, protracted battle for the season-ending PBA Governors Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven finals begins at 6 p.m. with the Elasto Painters, making their championship debut, hoping to pounce on the battle-weary Llamados who will be playing their sixth game in 12 days.
While the Elasto Painters are looking to make the most out of their maiden appearance in the finals in the six-year history of their franchise, coach Tim Cone and the Llamados also don’t have a shortage in motivation.
Having won the Commissioner’s Cup via a thrilling Game 7 victory, B-Meg is hoping to finally land consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history.
“This team is still hungry,” said Cone, owner of 14 PBA titles who will be coaching in his 25th finals.
“Once you get a taste of something good, you want more of it, and that applies to my team. This team is still hungry,” said Cone
The Elasto Painters have beaten the Llamados twice in the elimination round and in the semifinals last Wednesday, but Cone expects a series to be a long battle.
He admitted that Rain or Shine, with its bevvy of strong backcourt players and a powerful import in Jamelle Cornley, will be a “tough matchup” for the Llamados.
“There will be mismatches all over the court,” said Cone, who is wary of rookie guard Paul Lee in particular.
“We’re going to need big performances from our guards. We’re going to have to be creative to make up for size advantage and mismatches. I think over seven games we can figure it out.”
Interesting matchups loom in the series with B-Meg gunner James Yap and Rain or Shine swingman Jeff Chan expected to engage in a shootout.
Blakely is also looking forward to his duel with the bull-strong Cornley, who had 16 points and the same number of rebounds in the 92-82 win over the Llamados last Wednesday.
The Llamados will go into the game with just a one-day rest after a thrilling 74-72 win over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings last Friday in their do-or-die duel.