FOR San Miguel coach Leo Austria, he felt mixed feelings in Saturday’s loss to Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen dropped a 101-97 loss to the Hotshots in the final game of the elimination round of the Commissioner’s Cup. Despite the defeat, the Beermen went on to finish with the higher seed than the Hotshots, who failed to meet the required margin of 14 points or more in order to move up the ladder in the standings.
San Miguel finished at No. 6, while Magnolia ended up at No. 7 in the quarterfinals, which means the Beermen will play in a best-of-three series against third-seed TNT while the Hotshots went down to the seventh-seed where they will have to win over No. 2 Alaska twice in order to advance into the semifinals
Austria said the required points Magnolia needed in order to get the sixth seed was not in the conversation when he talked to his players at the dugout.
“I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate for us,” said Austria. “From the very start, I didn’t tell the players the scenario that might come up in this game. We are focused on winning. But I told them na Magnolia will come out hard to beat us by more than 13 points in order to give them the best-of-three.”
Austria said he wanted his team to win the final elimination round game heading into the quarterfinals, but failed to close out the game.
“We missed a lot of shots in the free throw line in the end game so they prevailed. Parang unfortunate for us pero fortunate pa rin na nakuha namin ‘yung goal namin na mag-best of three,” said Austria.
But getting the higher seed is definitely better than getting the lower seed as Austria now looks forward to the playoffs.
“I’ve told the team, ‘Guys, mission accomplished.’ From 0-3, we were able to get to the best-of-three. Sinuwerte kami siguro at nagkaroon pa kami ng chance na mag-tie sa 2, 3, 5 which is TNT and Alaska,” said Austria.
“Masaya na rin kami na umabot kami dito. Alam namin na everybody is expecting is on top but it’s really hard because every team is working hard to beat us. We were not in top shape sa first few games namin,” said Austria.
The Beermen now prepares for their best-of-three quarterfinal series against TNT.
“It will be a hard game considering na every series of San Miguel against TNT, we always beat them eh in a best-of-five, best-of-seven, or in the championship. But I’m sure, they are thinking differently because they know they need to redeem themselves from the loss they’ve got from us. The players know about it naman,” said Austria.