SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria admitted he lost hope at one point that the Beermen would have a chance to win against Rain or Shine after falling into a huge hole in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.
The Beermen were staring at a 20-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, before the defending all-Filipino champions heated up behind Ronald Tubid, Chris Ross, and Arwind Santos to pull off the stunning reversal.
“This is unbelievable. I thought we’re losing this game,” Austria said in the post-game conference. “But I have to give credit to my players especially Chris Ross and Ronald Tubid.”
“Chris Ross injected the energy,” he added. “And I think we were lucky because Ronald hit those clutch three-pointers.”
While delivering on defense as expected, Ross also shone on offense by hitting the biggest shot of the game - the go-ahead three-pointer with one minute and 32 seconds left.
Austria believed defense was the key to the great comeback.
“Our pressure defense worked to our advantage and maybe because of our zone defense,” the two-time champion coach said. “I told them this was our last recourse dahil we know from the start that Rain or Shine is really good against the zone defense because of their bench.”
“What we needed to have is only effort and nilabas nila 'yung effort nila.”