'No need to push panic button,' insists SMB coach Leo Austria as Beermen fall to 0-2
Despite 0-2 start in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel coach Leo Austria said it's no time yet to push the panic button. Jerome Ascano

SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria has little worry despite a winless campaign following a 95-82 loss to sister team Barangay Ginebra Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Coming off a title conquest in the Philippine Cup, the Beermen have reeled to their second straight loss that left them at the bottom of the 12-team standings early in the mid-season tournament in the company of Blackwater (0-3) and NLEX (0-2) in the cellar.

But Austria is the least bit concerned.

“There’s no need to push the panic button because of this beautiful format,” Austria insisted. “But what is important is we need to win our first game.”

After the single-round elimination, the top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals in the import-spiced conference, with the top two squads gaining a twice-to-beat advantage.

“I’m still optimistic that we can get there,” Austria said. “Of course yung Top Two (slots), medyo lumalabo ng konti but we still have a chance.”

“But our goal is to get into the playoffs, because in the playoffs, you need to win twice, except for the Top 2. Baka maging come from behind kami,” he smiled.

Still, Austria rued the Beermen continue to have a hangover after ruling the all-Filipino conference - as evidenced by Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo's off games, with import Ronald Roberts Jr. carrying most of the load in the frontline.

“Everybody’s trying to adjust dun sa atmosphere ng pagiging champion and then yung pagkakaroon ng import,” he said. “Nag-a-adjust lahat yan eh.”

“It’s too short to celebrate,” Austria added. “But I hope in the next few days, makalimutan na nila yung championship. But I think with these last two losses, things will be different.”

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