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Is momentum now on SMB’s side? Austria believes otherwise


Leo Austria hardly believes that momentum is now on the side of San Miguel after equalizing its PBA Philippine Cup semis showdown with TNT.

The Beermen did so in Game Two Wednesday, where they pulled off a comeback of epic proportions by overcoming a 19-point third quarter deficit en route to the 98-96 victory thanks to a Marcio Lassiter last-second bucket.

“Kung sinasabi mong kung magbibigay ng confidence, kaunti lang e,” said the decorated mentor after the game at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor.

While he’s happy that SMB has evened the best-of-seven affair, Austria remains wary of how the Tropang Giga will respond to such a tough loss.

“Dahil itong kalaban namin, they will think and they will do everything to know what really happened dito sa game namin,” he said.

“Knowing that team, a very organized team, iisa-isahin nila, iaanalyze nila what happened.”

The four-time Coach of the Year added that it is always difficult going up against a team that’s been on a mission right from the start.

“Alam naman natin itong Talk N Text ay talagang they are out there since Game One, ang kanilang goal is to win a championship,” Austria offered.

“TNT is a well-organized team, and they prepared hard dito sa season na ito.”

Still, it isn’t solely TNT whom Austria is thinking about. Of course, his Beermen are on top of his mind and mentioned a few things which he hopes to address heading into Game Three on Friday as they aim to take the series lead.

One of which is controlling the pace, since they’ve played catch-up in the first two games — before Wednesday, San Miguel also had to crawl back from 12 points down, but failed to complete the comeback and fell, 88-89.

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“First of all, we have to control the tempo of the game because we’re facing a very talented team, a very energetic team,” he said.

The other thing, meanwhile, is taking care of the ball much better. San Miguel is averaging 18.0 turnovers in the series thus far, including 23 in the opener last Sunday which the opposition converted into 23 points.

“Kailangan hindi kami ma-pressure dun sa defense nila and we have to avoid or limit some turnovers because in our last game, out of our 23 turnovers, they scored 23 points. And that’s a lot.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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