SMB eyeing twice-to-beat advantage, but taking it one game at a time
MANILA, Philippines — The San Miguel Beermen are looking to lock in a twice-to-beat advantage when the PBA Philippine Cup goes into the playoffs.
But before getting ahead of themselves, eager as they are to get back to the glory they have enjoyed in the past in the All-Filipino Conference, the Beermen need to take it slow.
That was the statement made by head coach Leo Austria after taking their second win in a row on Friday, taking down Barangay Ginebra, 111-102.
"Going to this tournament, the target of every team is getting [into] the top 2, and right now, we have a chance," Austia said.
"But we're thinking of one game at a time… We want to prepare every game because you cannot tell, you cannot predict what will happen," he added.
As it stands, the Beermen are in third with a 5-2 slate.
Looking ahead of possibly gaining a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal with a finish in the Top 2 after eliminations might be dangerous for the Beermen according to Austria, considering the kind of competition this year.
"A lot of teams are really strong," said Austria, whose team actually suffered an upset loss at the hands of the Terrafirma Dyip.
The bright side for Austria, though, is that his players seem to understand that they cannot simply expect themselves back on top of the pack after failing to secure a six-peat bid at the Clark bubble last year.
Regardless of a complete and healthy lineup, and the addition of newcomer CJ Perez, Austria sees that his players are still working towards every win that they get.
"I'm happy for these players, they know what's really going on here… the sense of urgency is really in themselves and that's what happened in the last two games," said Austria.
With the Beermen already so dominant on paper, an approach like they have shown in their wins against Ginebra and the TNT Tropang Giga in their previous games prove just how dangerous they could be — especially in the right mindset.
The Beermen see action next on Sunday in the first game of a triple header against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
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