SAN Miguel Beer hopes to keep pace with defending champion and leader Indonesia at the top of the Asean Basketball League standings when it faces Jobstreet.com Singapore for the third straight time at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig this Saturday.
The 4 p.m. encounter between the Beermen and Slingers will be the fourth in their last five games, with San Miguel winning four of their matches.
More importantly, a win will be the eight straight for the in-form Beermen, who at 10-3 are just behind the reigning champions Warriors (11-3).
Despite beating the Slingers by an average winning margin of 16 points in three matches, coach Leo Austria said they won’t take the visitors lightly.
“Kahit pang-apat na namin, a win against Singapore is like winning against Indonesia because we are after the top spot,” said Austria.
The San Miguel coach, however, is confident the Beermen can sweep their season series against the Slingers, who are currently in fifth place with a 5-10 record.
“’Yung team sanay na manalo against Singapore pero hindi kami dapat maging complacent,” admitted Austria.
While the top spot appears to be a two-team race between Indonesia and San Miguel, the race for the fourth and final semis spot remain wide open among Sports Rev Thailand Slammers (6-10), Singapore, and Saigon (3-11).
“Malaking advantage kapag nasa No. 1 dahil homecourt, and at the same time, No. 4 ‘yung makakalaban namin,” said Austria.
The Beermen decided to stick with current imports Justin Williams and Brian Williams after the deadline for changing reinforcements already lapsed last Sunday.
“I am satisfied with how we are running the system, particularly on defense. Actually, the reason why we sustained our run is because of defense. And of course, good defense has fueled our offense,” said Austria.