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Logistically, PH Cup best tournament for restart

/ 04:03 AM July 07, 2020

San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is hopeful that the Philippine Basketball Association would still be able to put together at least one full conference before the year is over.

And it’s a no-brainer on what that conference would be.

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“I’m still hopeful that we’d able to push through even if it’s the all-Filipino conference,” he told the Inquirer just a few days after the league had gotten the green light from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for its teams to hold individual practices under general community quarantine conditions.Logistically, with all the players in the country, the all-Filipino is the tournament that’s best to be held.

But there’s another reason as far as Austria is concerned.

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The outspoken mentor offered to look at the situation through the lens of logistics, citing that import-laden tournaments could pose even more hurdles.“It would be difficult to employ imports considering the situation,” he said. “You’d have to factor quarantine. [Consider] the possibility that you’d have to replace [an import] for lackluster play. That’s another set of 14 days.”

But more than that, even if Austria doesn’t admit it, the possibility of extending the Beermen’s reign for a sixth straight year in the Philippine Cup is enticing—not that they can’t do it next year in case the season is called off for good.

Austria wants to dispel the myth that the Beermen—the PBA’s winningest franchise—have become vulnerable without its cornerstone, and the league’s reigning six-time most valuable player, June Mar Fajardo.“The way we played in that lone game [on March 8], I think we did well. We made adjustments without June Mar, and even without him, we showed that the threat of San Miguel remains there,” he said.

The hunger to win again and extend that streak is there, even after Austria and his crew have created a huge distance against other teams that have Philippine Cup streaks in the past like Talk ‘N Text with three and defunct Crispa with two back-to-backs. INQ

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