Beermen may lose players ahead of Fiba Asia tilt


ABL champions Beermen. Photo from Asean Basketball League website.

Despite its victory in the Asean Basketball League, there’s no guarantee that San Miguel Beer will represent the country in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup this September in Jordan.

The Beermen, whose core players are set to go their separate ways, earned an outright slot in the continental club tournament as an incentive for capturing the ABL championship.

“It’s going to be an honor to compete in the Champions Cup, but we might not have a team at that time,” team manager Rico Meneses said in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate. “It’s up to the management to decide and we also haven’t received any formal invitation.”

The Beermen dethroned the Indonesia Warriors with a 3-0 finals sweep last week, capping a remarkable run highlighted by a 16-game winning streak.

“We want to be back-to-back champs,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “But the future will be really tougher for us. We know everyone is trying hard to form a better team.”

Austria’s return remains uncertain, though. He is reportedly being eyed for a coaching job in one of the San Miguel teams in the PBA.

Interestingly, Indonesia coach Todd Purves may also be headed to the San Miguel group with the American mentor confirming yesterday that he has been in talks with the team.

“I have not signed anything as of yet, so it is just speculation at this point. But I have been contacted by the San Miguel Corporation,” Purves, who is rumored to join Petron Blaze as a consultant in the PBA, said during a press conference in Jakarta yesterday.

The Beermen brought back to the country the crown last won by the Philippine Patriots in the inaugural 2010 season.

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