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    Austria recruit Rodney Brondial to fill crucial position at SMB

    Jan 10, 2022
    Rodney Brondial reunites with Leo Austria at SMB.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    SAN Miguel admitted coach Leo Austria’s familiarity with Rodney Brondial factored in the big man's decision to take his act to the Beermen from the Alaska Aces.

    SMB team manager Gee Abanilla said the two having worked together with the Adamson Falcons in the past gave the 31-year-old Brondial an idea on how a reunion with his college coach would be.

    “Naging player siya ni coach Leo. Yun ang nagpadali sa desisyon niya kasi he wants to play under coach Leo kasi kabisado niya na nga,” said Abanilla on Monday.

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      “Ako naman I always leave it to the judgement of the coaches kasi sila ang nakakaalam kung ano ang gusto nilang make-up ng team.”

      Austria was credited for discovering the 6-foot-5 Brondial in an inter-barangay league at Philam Homes in West Avenue, Quezon City and the latter played his college years with the Falcons under the veteran mentor.

      Upon becoming an unrestricted free agent at the start of the year, Brondial chose San Miguel as his next destination after more than a two-year stint with Alaska.

      Continue reading below ↓

      Deep SMB frontline

      At San Miguel, Brondial is expected to strengthen a frontcourt that revolves around six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Mo Tautuaa, and Vic Manuel.

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      “He will be filling in a position na kailangan ng team,” said Abanilla. “So I think he will be a nice addition to our team.”

      Brondial hasn’t practiced with the Beermen even once as the PBA ordered a stop to all team scrimmages after the National Capital Region (NRC) was put under Alert Level 3 last Jan. 3 following a spike in the COVID-19 cases.

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        Even small group practices, which are allowed by the league, had been put on hold by San Miguel management.

        “Pinatigil ko na rin muna kasi medyo delikado,” said Abanilla, noting another record single-day tally of 33,169 new cases were registered on Monday.

        “Puro zoom workout lang kami ngayon. Mahirap e, kasi nag-iingat ka na nga, natsasambahan ka pa.”

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        PHOTO: PBA Images
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