41st PBA Ph Cup on

By: Calvin D. Cordova October 18,2015 - 12:54 AM
nietes

Filipino Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (right) and his Mexican foe Juan “Pinky” Alejo pose for photographers after their weigh-in yesterday. (Dong Secuya of Philboxing.com)

Game today
Araneta Coliseum
5:15 p.m.- Rain or Shine vs. Star Hotshots

Anew chapter of the country’s premier basketball league unfolds today as the Philippine Cup 41st season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) comes off the wrap with a lone counter at the Araneta Coliseum.

Ushering in the brand new season will be the grand opening ceremony before the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Star Hotshots begin their campaigns in the All-Filipino Conference.

The Hotshots will be parading a new-look lineup with Jason Webb getting his baptism of fire as a PBA head coach.

Webb filled the spot vacated by the league’s winningest coach and two-time grandslam champion Tim Cone, who was reassigned to the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Cone led the Hotshots to a grandslam finish in the 39th season.

“Yung pressure, di ko sya iniisip. Coach Tim is the best coach in history. If I do good, at least it shows na mayroon syang naiwan and we’re able to carry that through,” Webb said.

After losing Cone and versatile forward Joe Devance to Ginebra, Webb said Star will now be a different team.

“We’re running something different,” Webb said. “We have some ideas from the triangle, and you’re going to see some of it, but overall, it’s a little different.”

James Yap, PJ Simon, and Marc Pingris will remain Star’s cornerstones while set to make a big comeback from an ACL injury is Ian Sangalang.

The Hotshots will also have newcomers Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual and rookie Norbert Torres.

Rain or Shine also made some changes in the off-season.

The Elasto Painters let go of Ryan Araña, power forward Jervy Cruz and backup point guard Jonathan Uyloan. They brought in Ahanmisi, Josan Nimes and Don Trollano in the Rookie Draft.

Rain or Shine has been a consistent performer in the past seasons, making it to the playoffs on a consistent basis but couldn’t win it all.

“I think that’s the reason why we made some changes. It’s because coach Yeng told the players na wala na ngang nangyayari,” said Rain or Shine assistant coach Caloy Garcia.

Rain or Shine won its first and only title in the 2012 Governors’ Cup.

Last season, Rain or Shine lost to Talk ‘N Text in the Commissioner’s Cup Finals and made the semifinals in the Philippine Cup and Governors’ Cup.

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TAGS: PBA, Philippine Cup 41st, Rain or shine Elasto Painters, Star Hotshots, Time Cone
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