WHEN San Miguel tied the series at one game apiece in Game Two, Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone told the Beermen “nice bawi” during the postgame interview.
On Friday, the series was tied once again with the Beermen unable to recover from a strong start by the Kings.
“It’s my turn to tell coach Tim, ‘nice bawi,’” said Austria.
After they went on a 2-1 lead in the series, the Beermen appeared to be on their way to controlling the series after two lopsided victories. But the Kings came up with a runaway win on their own, leading by as many as 38 points against the powerhouse reigning champion, sending the finals into another deadlock.
Austria said Ginebra’s Game Four win proved the Kings are just as strong as the Beermen despite their stacked line-up.
“Second game, he told me na “nice bawi.” And then before this game he kept on telling me na we’re too good and too strong for them. It’s not true,” Austria remarked.
“He is right before na his team is the only team that could beat San Miguel and that’s very evident. The series is now reduced to a best-of-three so I think the next game is very important,” Austria said.
Austria said his team lost because San Miguel didn’t have the same kind of effort to match Ginebra.
“What I noticed is what lacked from us is effort and my meaning of effort s you have to outwork your opponent. And it seems like ang effort ay nasa Ginebra. That’s the key. That’s what happened in Game Two and Game Three. We had a lot of effort. And now, it’s their turn,” said Austria.
Ginebra raced to a 17-0 lead in Game Four and that was it.
“I think that with that bad start, it’s hard to beat any team especially in the finals,” he said.
Austria admitted the Beermen looked complacent in Game Four but said the team can’t be blamed for it.
“No effort to do all the things that we’ve done in Games Two and Three. But you can’t blame them. You are ahead 2-1, sometimes nature na ng team to be complacent. And that’s one thing na I noticed from them. After Game Two and three, it’s easy to win the next game. But Ginebra, they lived up to their billing of NSD, never say die. And that’s what happened,” Austria said.
With the teams entering Game Five with the series tied, Austria hopes the Beermen would not squander Sunday’s match and their title hopes on the line.
“I think next game, it will be a different ball game. I’m a little bit worried because it’s a best-of-three. I think this will be on a crowd. And they will be having a sixth man which is the crowd. But I hope the team will realize the stakes in the last three games, and what we’ve worked hard for in the past three months,” said Austria.