Another tough battle ahead for San Miguel Beermen
MANILA, Philippines—The Grand Slam has eluded San Miguel once more and head coach Leo Austria admits the next PBA season will be another uphill battle for his team.
San Miguel, which won the 2019 Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup titles, didn’t have a high draft pick in the 2019 rookie selection where other teams got the chance to bolster their respective lineups.
“It’ll be tough for us because we didn’t have any high draft picks this season,” said Austria in a phone interview with Inquirer.
For their first pick of the Draft, Beermen selected Travis Thompson, a 28-year-old 6-foot-1 guard from University of Alaska-Anchorage at 35th overall.
Its fate in the Draft means San Miguel will still rely mostly on its core of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Terrence Romeo.
In 2018, the Beermen also made their pick in the third round in the form of Adamson guard Ryan Monteclaro.
Austria, one of the most successful coaches this decade with eight titles from 2014, singled out Columbian and Blackwater as two teams that vastly improved its roster with the Draft.
The Dyip, who selected CJ Perez in 2018 as the top overall pick, once again had the highest selection and the franchise chose sharp shooter Roosevelt Adams out of College of Idaho.
Hulking 6-foot-9 center Maurice Shaw, already an established veteran of 34-years-old, became the second overall pick of the Draft and going to Blackwater.
“Everybody’s improving especially Columbian and Blackwater,” said Austria. “The teams at the bottom of the table are slowly catching up with us.”