PBA: Defending champs San Miguel still in adjustment period, says coach Leo Austria
Santino Honasan on May 09, 2018 10:54 PM
“I think we’re still in the period of adjustment. We started our practice two weeks ago and we were not able to complete the two weeks because of commitments of some players, maraming distractions, and we thought na we’re a very strong team, a super team."
Coming into the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, defending champion San Miguel Beer was considered the favorite and deservedly so.
With already a stacked core made up of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter, the Beermen also finally have the services of number one draft pick Christian Standhardinger.
And yet, in their first game of the tournament, the defending champions found themselves getting trounced by the red-hot Meralco Bolts, 93-85, Wednesday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I think we’re still in the period of adjustment. We started our practice two weeks ago and we were not able to complete the two weeks because of commitments of some players, maraming distractions, and we thought na we’re a very strong team, a super team. Before this game talagang hype na hype yun eh.” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “We’re not yet in game shape, which is very evident eh, and we have to adjust our approach in the game,”
Import Troy Gillenwater paced the Beermen with 19 points and 14 boards, while Junemar Fajardo added 16 points and seven rebounds of his own in the conference-opening loss.
Austria also touched on poor shot selection as another possible point to address moving forward.
Gillenwater and Lassiter both went 6-of-19 from the field, while Cabagnot went 7-for-15. Lassiter also went 3-for-13 from beyond the arc.
“If you will take a look at the stats, we have a lot of bad shot selection. Maybe that’s the reason, and talagang ganun eh.”
Now with game one of the conference in the books, Coach Leo and the Beermen can focus on bouncing back and getting better for the rest of the season, as they to get back on their path to a title defense.
Austria hopes that, the defending champs can get their rhythm going.
“The good thing is this is only our first game, this is our first loss, and still have a lot of games to play, and I’m sure the next games, the next few games siguro, we’ll be able to get to the rhythm.”
“Yung kalaban namin nasa momentum na eh, this is their fourth game, this is our first game without any scrimmages against any other team, so it’s really hard and still trying to figure out what is really good for us.” Austria added.
San Miguel’s next challenge comes in the form of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Sunday, May 13th at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.