Leo Austria puzzled as everyone on what's really bugging skidding San Miguel
“For this conference, I don’t know what’s really happening," an obviously disappointed San Miguel coach Leo Austria said following the team's stunning loss to NLEX. Jerome Ascano

EVEN San Miguel coach Leo Austria is searching for answers.

Austria just couldn’t believe what hit the Beermen in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after blowing away a 22-point lead to lose against NLEX, 100-93, and fall further down the standings of the mid-season tournament.

“For this conference, I don’t know what’s really happening. I can only do so much,” said an obviously puzzled Austria following the heartbreaking loss, the Beermen’s fifth in six games.

“They (Beermen) know what to do, but I’m wondering why (the meltdown in the fourth period versus NLEX)?.”

San Miguel’s lone win came at the expense of league leader Meralco, 102-86, in Cagayan de Oro last weekend, although the Bolts played without injured import Josh Davis for the entire second half.

rued Austria, whose team’s lone win this conference was courtesy of the Beermen’s 102-86 win over Meralco Bolts in Cagayan de Oro City.

The 56-year-old Austria isn’t losing hope on his team which he believes is still capable of rising from the ashes of its woeful start.

But for the Beermen to entertain thoughts of making the playoffs, the reigning All-Filipino Cup champions will have to make their move now.

“I hope it’s (losses this conference) just psychological because after our game against Meralco, I thought everything will be smooth throughout the rest of conference,” said Austria.

“It’s very evident in the first three quarters and we were leading even at the start of the fourth quarter, but because of the turnovers and shot selection of the players, I can’t control them.

“They (Beermen) are the ones playing but I keep on giving them guidelines and instruction.”

In the meantime, San Miguel new import Arizona Reid felt the loss was partly due to “some calls that didn’t go their way.”


“It’s tough. The Beermen are not losing games because if you watch the game, some things just are not going our way, and you can’t complain about it,” said Reid, pointing to the 18 free throw attempts awarded to NLEX in the final quarter.

But Reid, a two-time Best Import who came to replace Ronald Roberts, explained that bad calls or not, the Beermen will just have to work their way back into contention.

“Just some calls not going our way. If they’re (referees) gonna make that call, they make that call, but just can’t sit around,” said the former High Point standout.

“We just have to play through it.”

San Miguel has four days to talk things over before returning to action on Sunday against defending champion Purefoods, which is currently on a three-game losing skid.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava