A defeat at the hands of an expansion team truly signifies a hangover for the recently crowned Philippine Cup champions- something their head coach knew very well way before the game.
San Miguel Beermen head coach Leo Austria believes that his team has a huge amount of positives to take from their latest championship run.
“I think yung kumpyansa ng player mataas, yung morale nila mataas. Narealize nila na kaya naming manalo pero sabi ko sa kanila hindi ganung kadali,” Austria shared as he also acknowledged the ordeals his team is going to face.
Last conference, it looked like the Beermen were running their plays with ease, but Austria doesn’t see it that way. He cited that every team wants to beat a champion team and that makes basketball harder for them. Recognizing the fact that beating them will mean a lot for the other teams, the former Adamson head coach just wants to find ways to address their execution.
“We have to work hard para yung inexpect samin ma-achieve namin,” added Austria about his take on the high expectations from their fans and the league as well.
As for their import, Austria does not really look for so much in Ronald Roberts. Knowing that his local wards can do the damage in scoring, he just wants Roberts to rack up boards and get into their system as points will just be a bonus. Roberts only practiced thrice prior to their loss to Kia; the rest of the squad just practiced six times.
“Siguro magstruggle kami sa next two games namin,” said Austria a day before San Miguel’s Commissioner’s Cup debut. As for his prediction, they did struggle and eventually bowed down to the Kia Carnival. The team struggled again in their second game against the Gin Kings. Their next game will be against the Blackwater Elite on Wednesday, February 10. It will be a test to see if the Beermen can shrug off the championship hangover and finally barge into the win column.
“Mahirap kasi kung sa giyera para kang may war shock of fire pa. Para ka pang nasa kahon na yun pa lagi yung iniisip mo. Dapat kalimutan na yun, we have a new conference, we have to focus and keep on moving to improve,” ended Austria.