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    Austria reveals free-agent big men keen to join SMB, but there's one problem

    Feb 11, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    SAN Miguel coach Leo Austria said the Beermen are still on the lookout for a big man that could fill the void left by June Mar Fajardo, who is feared to be out for the entire season due to a fractured right tibia.

    Austria admitted there is a pressing need to find a big man that could help in the Beermen's quest for an unprecedented sixth Philippine Cup championship, but admitted that the hunt has not been easy.

    It's hard to find a team willing to let go of a big man, he admitted.

    “Talagang may plano kaming kumuha ng big man. Ang problema, walang nag-ooffer sa amin ng big man eh dahil lahat ng big man, kailangan ng bawat team,” said Austria on Tuesday after SMB's tuneup game against Rain or Shine.

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    Austria added there are free agents who are interested in shifting to San Miguel, but their rights are still owned by a different team.

    “Sa free agency, wala akong makita eh. May mga nagpapahayag ng interest para sa amin. The problem is nag-expire ang contract nila pero wala naman silang release so ‘yung rights nila, nasa mother team pa rin nila.

    “Ayaw namin ng ganun na alam namin na ‘yung rights nasa ibang team. Ayaw namin kunin ‘yun. If they get their release, puwede ‘yun pero as of now, we will see,” said Austria.

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      Austria said he is happy with the play of their bigs led by Mo Tautuaa and Billy Mamaril, who were solid in San Miguel’s tune-up game victory over Rain or Shine on Tuesday.

      “Si Mo, if he will be given a lot of playing time, I think lalabas ang kanyang laro. ‘Yun ang importante sa team especially we don’t have June Mar," Austria said.

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      "I told him before na expect a lot of playing time. Talagang lalabas ang talent mo at confidence mo, made-develop,” he added.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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