In any battle, the team armed with a better scouting, which primarily deals on identifying the weaknesses and strengths of the opponent, will most likely come out victorious.
Familiarity with each other could be the telling factor when sister-teams San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra Kings face off in a best-of-seven semifinal series of the 36th PBA Philippine Cup.
This crucial factor might just favor the Kings as no one knows the Beermen better than the tandem of Ginebra head coach Jong Uichico and his chief deputy Siot Tanquingcen.
The Kings' heavy-guard lineup poses a great threat against opposing teams but for the Beermen, it?s Tanquingcen's presence in the Kings' bench that should be a cause for concern.
?Somehow, it will be an advantage for Ginebra that coach Siot is with them. We basically run the same system used by coach Siot so they (Ginebra) really know how to deal with us,? said Dondon Hontiveros when Cebu Daily News caught up with him at the Citigym.
Hontiveros, however, stressed that the outcome of the series won't solely rely on Ginebra having Tangquingcen on its side.
?Coach Ato is the type of a coach who allows his players to run a free-flowing offense. Sometimes we run plays based on the individual talents of the players. So we will not be that predictable against Ginebra,? said Hontiveros.
Aside from Tangquingcen, there's also Uichico who gave the Beermen several titles before he was moved to the Kings.
The Beermen, ranked number two after the eliminations, are gunning for their first All-Filipino title since 2001.
Ironically, the Beermen won their last All-Filipino crown under the tutelage Uichico as the head coach.
It has been a while since the Beermen won the AFC trophy, so long that Agustin was still an active player at that time playing for Red Bull in what turned out to be his final season as a pro.
Anchored on Willie Miller, Jayjay Helterbrand, Mark Caguioa, Ronald Tubid and JC Intal, a run and gun type of offense has been the King's bread and butter all-conference long.
But Hontiveros is confident that the Beermen could match up well with the Kings.
?We have Sunday (Salvacion), Paul (Artadi), Denok (Miranda), Joseph (Yeo) and Alex (Cabagnot) who could also run the floor,? the former University of Cebu stalwart said.
They're may be sister teams but Hontiveros is expecting a war.
The semifinals will resume on Jan.5. The other pairing pits the Talk N Text and defending champion Derby Ace with the former holding a 1-0 lead.