Back on track
It was understandable, for his Beermen—despite their powerhouse roster—have gone down against this much-maligned enemy the last two times they played in an elimination round game.
“We know that Columbian has been comfortable against us,” Austria said of the Dyip, who dragged them to a nip-and-tuck game all night. “We knew from the start this would be tough.”
The Beermen thus bounced back from a loss to sister squad Barangay Ginebra and claimed a piece of second spot with idle NLEX at 5-1.
Columbian, meanwhile, lost for the second straight time despite the big effort and dropped below .500 at 3-4.
Barangay Ginebra leaned on a furious third quarter to topple Magnolia, 105-83, in the nightcap.
Justin Brownlee had 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Gin Kings in rising to 3-2. The Hotshots dropped to 3-4.
San Miguel got the goods mostly from Dez Wells, who fired 39 points and plucked down nine rebounds.
But like everyone else in his star-studded roster, Austria had to remind his import to calm down.
“He was emotional in the first half,” Austria said. “He thought he could win the game by himself.”
As for the local cast, Austria said: “they wanted to beat Columbian right away.”
June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo joined hands late in the third that set the tables for Wells’ exploits. The American poured 18 of his total points in the fourth period to seal the win.