PBA: SMBís defense yet to match its offense, says coach Leo

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 06, 2018 10:11 PM
PBA: SMBís defense yet to match its offense, says coach Leo
San Miguel is now on a three-game win run, but they still have much room for improvement according to head coach Leo Austria

After three losses in a row to begin the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, defending champion San Miguel is now on a roll with three consecutive victories.

The most recent of which coming in a 129-117 thrashing of Columbian on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

In being able to stretch their streak at the expense of a team they have had trouble with in the past, Beermen head coach Leo Austria is nothing but satisfied. “Alam naman natin na napakahirap manalo. Every time we (are) facing (Columbian), I’m really worried because we have history with this team,” he told reporters post-game.

He then continued, “Even in the eliminations or tuneup games, hirap na hirap kami manalo rito.”

Columbian, then known as Kia, owns two upset wins over San Miguel in the last three years.

That looked like it was going to be the case again in this one as the Dyip led by as much as 11 in the earlygoing.

The defending champions quickly caught up to them, though, and scored no less than 28 points in each of the four quarters.

Still, Austria was not a fan of how they allowed 117 points for a Columbian side not exactly known for its offensive firepower. As he put it, “Masaya ako na nanalo kami, pero malungkot ako dahil we gave up 117 points so it’s an indication na we’re (not) playing well sa defense ano. In order for us to win games, we have to play defense.”

That is even truer for the multi-titled mentor as their offense is now finally firing on all cylinders – and that is even though top pick Christian Standhardinger is still sidelined. “Offensively, hindi nawawala yun, but we need our energy when it comes to facing tougher teams,” he said.

He then continued, “We have to improve our defense for us to win and get a chance to get to the quarterfinals and eventually, into the semis or the championship.”

Good thing then that the Beermen have done nothing but prove that it will bring the goods when it is most needed. “I know this team e. If we’re facing a team like Ginebra or the (other) top teams, it has a different attitude,” he said.

They will have a chance to prove their head coach right once more with 3-4 Globalport, 6-1 TNT, 2-5 NLEX, 1-7 Blackwater, and 3-3 Magnolia all remaining on their schedule.

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