Beermen back to drawing board after ‘worst loss’ this PBA season
MANILA, Philippines — Through three quarters against NLEX, San Miguel Beer looked like the same team that won the Philippine Cup championship a month ago.
The Beermen, like their performance in a rout of erstwhile unbeaten Meralco last Saturday, found the open man, defended inside and out and played to their strengths that had them in total control of the game, 75-58, with only a quarter left.
But it didn’t take a while for the other version of San Miguel to show up — erratic, disoriented and careless — far from the team that the rest of the league had feared last conference.
“After our game against Meralco I thought everything will be smooth the rest of the conference,” said San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria after a 100-93 loss to the Road Warriors where the Beermen led by as much as 21. “It was very evident the first three quarters and we’re leading by 17 points before the start of the fourth quarter.”
“This is the worst loss we have this conference and maybe this season. I don’t know what’s happening.”
The last 12 minutes of the game was proof that San Miguel hasn’t really shrugged off its woes as the team fell back into the bottom of the standings with expansion team Blackwater at 1-5.
Austria again rued his team’s carelessness with the ball and the poor shot selection in the fourth quarter. The Beermen shot a decent 47% through three quarters but went 6-of-24 the rest of the way.
All the losing has prompted Austria to call for a coaches meeting and “evaluate” the team before facing defending champion Purefoods, which is in a slump as well, on Sunday.
“We’re in danger of getting eliminated in this conference because we’re running out [of games]. And we will try, with the coaching staff to evaluate what’s lacking in us.”
Badly needing a win, the Beermen held a 17-point lead with 12 minutes left and they let the game slip through their fingertips.
“I really don’t know what’s happening to us.”