Austria has one compelling personal reason not to be complacent with SMB's 3-0 lead
SMB coach Leo Austria was a member of the Shell team that blew a 3-1 finals lead in Ginebra's historic comeback in the 1991 First Conference. Jerome Ascano

EVEN with a commanding 3-0 lead, Leo Austria is not about to let his guard down in San Miguel’s quest for the PBA Governors Cup title.

The soft-spoken Beermen coach, afterall, has learned his lesson the hard way.

Austria vividly remembers being on the losing end of one of the greatest comebacks in the 40-year history of the league after Formula Shell bungled a 3-1 series lead against Ginebra San Miguel and lost the 1991 First Conference title in seven hard-fought games.

“We were leading 3-1 in the championship against Ginebra. Player ako nun (Shell).Last second nandoon ako nung naka-shoot si Distrito,” recalled Austria of that fateful debacle suffered by the Turbochargers after Rudy Distrito sank the game-winning basket in the do-or-die Game Seven, 104-102.

“Hindi sa harap ko (naka-shoot), pero humabol ako kasi naiwan 'yung teammate ko. Pero it was too late.”

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