PBA: Coach Leo thankful as SMB somehow still makes Finals

Paul Lintag on Aug 02, 2019 10:58 PM
PBA: Coach Leo thankful as SMB somehow still makes Finals
In the playoffs, the Beermen had to overcome Northport’s twice-to-beat advantage and had to erase a combined 55-point deficit in their three semifinals wins against Rain or Shine just to make the Finals.

Despite making yet another PBA Finals, San Miguel Beer’s journey to the title round of the Commissioner’s Cup was far from easy.

The Beermen let go of former Best Import and champion Charles Rhodes after they stumbled into a sorry 2-5 start.

And while his replacement, Chris McCullough, has been sensational, San Miguel still almost didn’t make the playoffs, barely moving on as the no. 7 seed.

In the playoffs, the Beermen had to overcome Northport’s twice-to-beat advantage and had to erase a combined 55-point deficit in their three semifinals wins against Rain or Shine just to make the Finals.

“Nagpapa-salamat kami sa Panginoon at dinala na naman kami dito sa Finals,” said head coach Leo Austria said after the Beermen’s close Game 4 win over ROS.

“At the start of the conference, we were struggling and we almost didn't make it into the quarterfinals. It was just a matter of one win. But it's a roller-coaster journey to the Finals and we will embrace this,” he added.

In the Finals, the Beermen draw top-ranked TNT.

The KaTropa ended Ginebra’s title reign in the semifinals and they enter the championship round with just three losses all conference long.

San Miguel has little to no time to prepare but the Beermen will certainly be ready by the time Game 1 tips off Sunday.

“Talk ‘N Text, after watching their game last night, I think it will be tough to face them kasi alam nating they're really playing at the highest level of basketball. They transformed their team into another high-caliber championship team,” Austria said.

“But we will see. We don't have ample time to prepare, but for us to be in the Finals, we're thankful. This is the Finals, let's see what we can do,” he added.

 

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