SAN Miguel earned a rematch with defending champion Indonesia in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals that starts June 7 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Just like last year, the Beermen are aware the best-of-five title series against the Warriors is not going to be a breeze.
Led by Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle, the Warriors shocked the Beermen in last season’s title series, beating them in the decisive Game 3 of the Finals right before a stunned hometown crowd.
Again, San Miguel owns homecourt advantage against Indonesia but is not about to take any chances anymore.
“We are not expecting an easy series against the Warriors,” said Austria shortly after the Beermen finished off the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers in the series-clinching 77-61 Game 4 win of their semifinals encounter Thursday night in Bangkok.
San Miguel won the best-of-five showdown, 3-1, while the Warriors completed a sweep of Westports Malaysia Dragons in the other semifinal pairing.
“It’s not an easy series (against the Thais). But we have learned a lot of things in our games against the Slammers and that should help us conquer the next level,” said the San Miguel mentor.
The entire San Miguel team arrived in Manila from Bangkok Friday night
“Of all the things we’ve learned throughout the eliminations and semifinals, the most important thing is defense. It’s been said over and over again that offense wins games and defense wins championships,” Austria emphasized.
“We hardly have any time to enjoy this victory and there is still a lot of work to be done.”