SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria has hinted of changes to his lineup that he feels are needed for the Beermen to regain their championship pedigree in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Austria bared that team manager/governor Robert Non threatened during the post-game talk inside the dugout to make trades if the Beermen keep playing the way they did in their 83-78 loss to Kia on Wednesday night.
“Boss Robert told them na I don't care kung sino ang puwedeng i-trade sa inyo if you continue playing that way —laziness, not focused,” Austria said after the game. “Dun, wala akong magagawa if that is their decision.”
And the usually soft-spoken coach could not help but agree with what Non said.
“If you cannot change the attitude of the player, change the player,” Austria said without mentioning names. “Talent is second to attitude. If you don't have the attitude, you cannot win. Ang talent puwedeng palitang ng hard work eh.
“I think that's the right thing to do. For me, it's not only talent e, it's the attitude eh. I keep on teaching them, I keep on telling them what will happen, the game plan is there, everything, we practice... Why are they not doing it?”
“So I cannot blame them if something happened na ganun (trade) with the team, because ayaw nila mangyari 'yung mga nangyayari sa amin,” he added.
“Maraming pabor ang binibigay sa kanila (players) ng management but in return, hindi nakukuha. And instead nagiging complacent sila."
San Miguel, which ended a long title drought in the Philippine Cup, failed to reach the playoffs in a Commissioner's Cup campaign that included a similar loss to KIA.
Austria pointed to Kia wingman Alex Nuyles, his former Adamson ward, as a player who possesses the qualities he has been looking for from his players.
“Tumalo sa akin dun sa Kia is my player — Alex Nuyles, because of his hard work,” he said of Nuyles, who had a career-high 18 points in 18 minutes. “He has the talent plus hard work.”
“Itong mga ito (SMB locals), may pangalan na eh,” he was quick to add. “Pero hindi sila puwedeng dalhin ng pangalan nila. Ang magdadala sa kanila is hard work.”
Austria, however, said he is also accountable in the end.
“Puwede nilang (management) gawin kahit ano,” he said. “Baka mamaya ako may diperensya. Whatever happens, I'm ready.”
“Kung anong makakabuti sa team,” the Philippine Cup champion coach was quick to add. “But as far as my knowledge in basketball is concerned, I think I've proven that I can compete. But I'm just only the coach, I'm not the one playing.”
That’s why Austria is also reconsidering to tap an Asian import after saying they didn’t need to do so during the break.
“I might request. If it could help the team, why not?”
“Mabait ako sa kanila eh, dahil you give up another slot for a foreign player which I think is kayang gawin ng local player,” he added. “But if they will not wake up, we will be forced to get a player. This is a competition and we have to win.”