No one to blame for 0-3 start but ourselves, says San Miguel coach Leo Austria
AZ Reid is set to arrive on Monday after getting his release from Rain or Shine. Jerome Ascano

 SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria admitted there’s nobody to blame for the team’s current woes in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup but themselves.

Aware that there is a short gap between celebrating the Beermen’s championship conquest in the Philippine Cup and the kickoff of the mid-season tournament, Austria said the team should have psyched itself to immediately move on from the title euphoria of the All-Filipino tournament.

“I think we’re right. Nangyari yung expected naming mangyari. Eh sana na-anticipate namin, pero there’s nobody to blame except ourselves,” said the San Miguel coach during a long conversation with after the team’s two-hour practice on Friday at the Acropolis gym.

“Ito ang worry ko, 'yung lack of preparation going to the second conference kasi halos lahat first timer sa ganito (winning championship) dahil maiksi nga ang gap ng championship series to the next conference,” he added.

The 56-year-old mentor said San Miguel’s three-game slide to start the mid-season conference, including a stunning 90-87 loss to expansion franchise Blackwater in its last outing, was something it truly deserves

Austria, who won his first league championship as rookie coach, said the Beermen’s 0-3 record should not be solely blamed on young import Ronald Roberts, who averages 22.6 points, 17.6 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in 41 minutes of action.

The soft-spoken coach noted key local players have actually not stepped up their game following the Philippine Cup title run.

Young big man June Mar Fajardo is just averaging 10.6 points on 38 percent shooting from the field, while Arwind Santos, the Philippine Cup Finals MVP, is struggling with his outside shooting in the tournament after going a poor 1-of-20 from beyond the arc.

Even point guard Alex Cabagnot, isn’t doing well by shooting just six percent (1-of-15) from the three-point zone and averages just 5.0 points per game.

“Roberts is a good import. It just happened na victim kami ng celebration ng championship,” Austria said.

Austria also remains mum about the team’s plan to change Roberts with former Rain or Shine import Arizona Reid, who’s arriving in the country on Monday.

The San Miguel mentor said everything hinges on management’s decision.

“You can never know because if you’re the owner of the team, gusto mo is what’s best for the team,” said Austria.

“It (change of players) happens kahit sa NBA. Pero right now, wala pang advise sa kanila (management). We will see kung may mangyayari sa amin.”


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