SAN Miguel coach Leo Austria has allowed his top stars to rest before the Beermen’s preparation for the 44th season goes into high gear.
Management has allowed June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross to take a break for the holidays and will return on January 2.
Terrence Romeo, acquired by San Miguel in an offseason trade, will also be appearing in practice for San Miguel on that same date.
Austria said San Miguel’s top guys deserve the break following a grueling season that saw the players suiting up for Team Pilipinas this year.
"Most of the players, nandiyan ‘yung wear and tear," said Austria during a recent practice. "Imagine ‘yung season na ‘to, more than a year. Nag-start ng December 17 and then natapos ng December 19. Imagine walang offseason eh. This is the opportunity for them. Meron din naman silang nararamdaman na kailangan nilang magpahinga. It’s good for them.”
Austria said he expects them to be in shape when they resume training.
“I hope na pagbalik nila, they are in shape. It’s a matter of how to warm them up again para makasabay uli,” Austria said.
Still, San Miguel continued its work and held practices this week for the second-stringers alongside the new players in Paul Zamar and Ronald Tubid, who were acquired in separate trades this month.
“That is why since December 5, we had practices. Nandito ‘yung mga bago. Because of the holidays, we also need them a break,” said Austria.
The Beermen will be aiming for their fifth straight Philippine Cup when the new PBA season opens on January 13.