Austria wary as Ginebra playing with ‘nothing lose, everything to gain’
San Miguel coach Leo Austria regarded San Miguel’s first loss in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Tuesday night as a much-needed wake up call.
The Beermen played listless basketball in the Game 3 duel, falling behind early, 19-8 and failing to match the energy level the Gin Kings en route to the 95-87 setback.
“It’s obvious that we didn’t have a good start and they capitalized on it. They attacked us using their three bigs,” said Austria. “We’re not so focused. We prepared for their fightback but that still happened.”
Not helping was San Miguel’s lackluster defense, which allowed Ginebra to shoot at a 48-percent clip against its own 35-percent shooting.
And Ginebra is still playing without its star center Greg Slaughter, who remains day-to-day according to Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“We cannot just take them for granted just because of our two wins. We need two more wins and that’s hard right now because the momentum is on their side. They know already how to beat us,” he said.
After warning his wards against “resting on their lauriats” after their Game 2 win, Austria still found a way to use his blunder as a motivation for his team.
“I will probably (buy them Lauriat meals), so that they’ll get back their appetite. It seems like they’re lacking in protein,” the amiable coach said in Filipino.
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) March 13, 2018
The Beermen could close in on the Finals ticket on Thursday but Austria and his wards are not getting too ahead of themselves.
“We need to work hard. I hope that the team realizes what we need to do. As I’ve told them, Ginebra is playing with nothing to lose and everything to gain. But our chance is still there. We just have to be ready to make up for this one,” he said.
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