Other Coaches Take on the Finals Series

On: 13 February 2008

Tuesday, 12 February 2008
from PBA Site

The consensus is that a great duel is about to unfold as Purefoods Tender Juicy and Sta. Lucia Realty slug it out for the 2007-08 Smart PBA Philippine Cup championship beginning Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

After the grueling semifinals series, the Giants and the Realtors took just a one-day rest and have started their preparation for the finale Tuesday.

To many including opposing coaches Ryan Gregorio and Boyet Fernandez, it's about offense versus defense and experience against hunger.

Here's what the other coaches say:

"No one has an overwhelming advantage. Intellectually, Purefoods should win but Sta. Lucia is very dangerous I won’t be surprised if it pulls this off," said newly named Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.

Welcoat coach Leo Austria said the players match-up is really so balance that the series may turn out to be a chess match between coaches Gregorio and Fernandez.

"In this respect, I think the Purefoods team has the edge since coaches Ryan (Gregorio), Ronnie (Magsanoc) and Coy (Banal) have been there and have done that. They know how to win a championship," said Austria.

Air21 coach Bo Perasol thinks Purefoods would win the championship if it is a long series and Sta. Lucia if it is a short one.

Coca-Cola tactician Binky Favis and Magnolia mentor Siot Tanquingcen didn’t make a straight prediction, saying it would come down to who wants it more.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao believes Purefoods would have the advantage if James Yap is healthy. "I think James is hurting. I heard Ryan Reyes is also having a health problem but James is a major factor here," said Guiao.

"If Sta. Lucia battles Purefoods in an offensive game, it won’t stand a chance," said Perasol.

Perasol and practically all other coaches, however, agree the Realtors can negate the Giants’ advantage on firepower on their stifling defense.

"Sta. Lucia is really a tough defensive team. Their game suits with the new rules. They’re physical but not dirty," said Tanquingcen.

"If Purefoods has tremendous firepower from all positions, Sta. Lucia has strong defensive stopper from all positions as well," said Austria.

The coaches say another plus factor for the Realtors is the great momentum they’re enjoying going into the finals.

"Sta. Lucia is going in there riding a great momentum. Yes, Purefoods also won its semifinals series against Red Bull but they’re favored there," said Favis.

"Grabe ang bulusok ng Sta. Lucia. Their momentum is sky high," said Reyes.

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