San Miguel goes for second outright semis berth in game against winless Blackwater
San Miguel's loss to Talk `N Text was a wake-up call for the Beermen, so says coach Leo Austria. Jerome Ascano

DERAILED the last time, San Miguel Beer tries to formally clinch the second outright semifinals berth Tuesday when it clashes with winless Blackwater at the close of the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Astrodome.

The Beermen (8-2) will be coming into the 4:15 p.m. game fresh from a 107-101 decision to Talk `N Text.

But coach Leo Austria told the Beermen to immediately put the loss behind and focus on the task at hand as they try to beat an Elite side, whose obviously looking to close out their maiden conference in the league with a bang.

“That loss (to Talk ‘N Text) is a wake-up call for us.  We can’t afford to relax because Blackwater is looking for a win and an upset,” said Austria.

Austria said the Beermen ought to know that no team in the league should be taken lightly, considering that overconfidence or one misstep can have serious repercussions.

But the good thing is, the Beermen know what’s at stake.

“I think the team knows our situation, it’s a must-win for us,” he added.

June Mar Fajardo is still San Miguel’s biggest weapon this season, with the reigning league MVP expected to throw his weight around Blackwater’s smaller defenders.

The Cebuano big man has been churning out MVP-like numbers for the Beermen this season after averaging 19.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per contest.

On the other hand, the Elite, even in the absence of a legitimate go-to-guy, will try to avoid becoming the first team in two years to finish the conference without a win.

Blackwater, owned by long-time businessman-sportsman Dioceldo Sy, has lost its first 11 games in its inaugural season by an average of 12 points.

The last team which ended the season without a win was the Shopinas Clickers, which finished the 2012 Philippine Cup with a 0-14 record.

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