SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said he respects AZ Reid’s decision to take the last-gasp three-pointer against Mahindra in a last-ditch play where the coach initially wanted to call a timeout.
Coming off a steal by Alex Cabagnot, Reid ignored calls for a timeout from Austria and took it upon himself to go for a potential game-winning three-pointer as the final seconds ticked away.
Reid's shot was off-target as the Beermen went down, 105-103, to Mahindra in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday.
“Of course, I want to call a timeout and that's my instruction, but they are the ones playing eh,” Austria said. “They know what's good and what's bad for them. I always give the benefit of the doubt sa players dahil sila yung naglalaro sa loob e.”
Austria made no indication that he took offense from Reid's decision.
“You can never know what will happen eh,” the SMB coach said. “Maybe there's an opportunity for him to make that shot, but hindi nangyari. That's a decision na we have to respect.”
“I always give the players inside (freedom) – because they're the one playing – to decide,” the championship coach continued. “If you lose, that's my fault, if they win they are great. If there's somebody to be blamed, that's me, not them.”
Instead of focusing on that last shot, Austria lamented his team’s 23 turnovers that translated into 29 points for the Enforcers.
“It's not the last shot eh,” Austria insisted. “We committed a lot of turnovers maybe because of the pressure of our opponent dahil talagang in top shape yung kalaban namin. But I think yung team namin learned a lot of things from that.”
“I think that game is a good lesson for us and we have to learn from some mistakes,” he added as his team dropped its first game after winning its first two assignments.