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    Austria quick to move on from 30-point loss as SMB shifts focus to Alaska

    Nov 3, 2018
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    FOLLOWING its loss to Meralco on Saturday, San Miguel is now bracing for its quarterfinal match against Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

    The Beermen clinched the sixth-seed in the quarterfinals with a 111-81 loss to the Bolts. The loss also arranged a quarterfinal tiff with the Aces, who finished at No. 3 at the end of the eliminations.

    San Miguel coach Leo Austria said he still believes the Beermen can overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage over the Aces, but not with the kind of play they showed against the Bolts.

    “It will be a different ballgame. Although nasa disadvantage kami, we will treat this game as a best-of-three. We need to win two in a row. I think that’s achievable,” Austria said.

    “But if we will play like we play tonight, I think it’s hard for us. It will be a different ballgame come Wednesday,” Austria said.

    After scoring the first two points of the game, the Beermen gave up 15 straight points to the Bolts. San Miguel later took a 40-26 lead but Meralco turned the tide and grabbed a 78-66 lead entering the fourth period.

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    Austria said the Beermen didn’t play their usual game, giving up more than 100 points and only tallying nine assists in the game.

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    “At the start, we thought na smooth sailing after a very slow start in the first quarter. We were able to make a run. From down 13, we were able to get a lead of 14. We thought na dere-derecho na. Pero nung third quarter which was for me was pivotal, dun na nangyari ‘yung lahat.

    “They wanted it more eh,” Austria said of the Bolts. “Makikita mo naman eh. They can’t afford to lose. Their backs was against a wall. They played all out. On our part, medyo nawala ‘yung depensa namin dahil we allowed them 38 assists.”

    Heading into the quarterfinal series against Alaska, Austria hopes San Miguel will play with a lot of intensity now that the Beermen are on the brink of elimination.

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    “We need to step up. We need to have a lot of energy,” said Austria.

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    PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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