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A Second Chance: Grand Slam talk sparks anew for San Miguel Beermen

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Tiebreaker Times A Second Chance: Grand Slam talk sparks anew for San Miguel Beermen Basketball News PBA  San Miguel Beermen PBA Season 44 Leo Austria Dez Wells 2019 PBA Governors Cup

Talks of a Grand Slam have surfaced once again following the San Miguel Beermen’s conquest of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night at the expense of rivals TNT KaTropa.

“This is our second chance,” said coach Leo Austria.

The Beermen actually had the chance to achieve the historic Triple Crown back in 2017 after winning the Phillippine Cup and the mid-season joust, where they had Charles Rhodes in tow.

But the season-ending Governors’ Cup spoiled their plans. The team couldn’t find stability with their imports, switching from Wendell McKines to Terik Bridgeman and lastly Terrence Watson.

That struggle showed in the quarterfinals as they lost to Justin Brownlee and the twice-to-beat edge-equipped Barangay Ginebra, which eventually won it all to become back-to-back champions.

“The last time we won the first and second (conferences), unfortunately, we didn’t have a great import in the third,” recalled Austria, who now has eight PBA titles to boast of — all with San Miguel.

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Now, an opportunity to win it has shown up again, and many believe that the present-day Beermen could pull it off given how deep the team is in every position and how they’ve gelled as a unit.

But before all of that, the decorated mentor just hopes that they can find the right import for the 2019 Governors’ Cup so that the ghost from two seasons ago won’t go back and haunt them again.

“Import really matters in this campaign.

“If you don’t have a good one, it’s likely hard for you to win,” said Austria as San Miguel tapped Euroleague vet Dez Wells for their campaign.

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But it still won’t be easy even if they can resolve their woes in the conference that has a 6-foot-5 height limit for imports, now that the target on their backs has become much bigger.

“It’s really an honor if makukuha namin to. They are really longing for a Grand Slam, but I’ve said before, it’s really hard. We’re always the target of these teams in the PBA.”

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