San Miguel head coach Leo Austria is not shy to admit that his Beermen want to win their fifth straight PBA Philippine Cup championship, as this current batch aims to leave a lasting legacy in the league’s history.
San Miguel have the chance when they battle the Magnolia Hotshots anew in the 2019 All-Filipino Finals that starts on Wednesday. And if they are victorious, they will accomplish what no previous Beermen had ever done.
“It would mean a lot. Unang-una, it will become our legacy because I think this will be the first time,” said the decorated bench strategist in the Finals’ press conference, Thursday at Sambokojin in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.
“Yung four-peat, meron na yatang nangyaring ganon,” he added, recalling Crispa achieved the feat from 1977-1980. “But this time, it’s a different story, and it’s not only the five-peat.
“We want to win another championship.”
But despite their goals, Austria is wary of facing Magnolia.
Winning in five games as in last year’s all-local finals might not happen this time around, as Austria believes Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero’s claims the Hotshots have gained more experience from last season.
Magnolia are looking to win their second title in a row, as they are coming off a golden run in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
“Mas mahirap ‘yun dahil sabi nga ni coach Chito eh, nag-matured na sila,” said the former Coach of the Year. “They gained a lot of experience and by winning a championship last conference, it could help a lot for their cause eh.
“And naniniwala ako ‘yung mga players nila ay talagang naka-focus sa amin dahil through the years, ‘yung team na ‘yun eh, they keep on getting better and better.”
But Austria likes his chargers’ chances, now that the Beermen have become more confusing to defend with the integration of Christian Standhardinger and former scoring champion Terrence Romeo into the loaded squad.
“On paper, naniniwala ako na mas lumamang kami dahil ang core namin nandoon pa rin. Pero ang basketball naman, limahan,” he said. “It’s not a guarantee na mananalo kami.
“But we have a good chance.”
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