Leo Austria bracing for tough TNT stand in Finals rematch: 'Di nila makakalimutan yun eh'
Leo Austria and Nash Racela lead their respective powerhouse teams as SMB and TNT face off for the first time after meeting in the Commissioner's Cup Finals. Jerome Ascano

SAN Miguel Beer gets an early gauge of its grand slam chances as it tangles with a familiar foe TNT KaTropa in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Getting their Triple Crown bid going on the right track with a 118-93 blowout of Blackwater last Saturday in Antipolo, the Beermen take on an immediate acid test in the Texters in a rematch of the last Commissioner’s cup Finals that SMB won, 4-2.

The Texters – whether they admit it or not – are certainly eager to exact vengeance on the Beermen and showed they have what it takes to do so following a 106-96 victory over Kia last Friday also in Antipolo behind import Michael Craig’s triple-double.

“Ever since naman eh, talagang powerhouse din yun eh, and what I’ve seen from them (against Kia) is talagang they’re out to show that kailangan nila manalo next game,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “Alam naman nila na kami yung team to beat.”

Austria is bracing for a tough stand by a Texters side that he expects to be extra motivated against the Beermen in the 7 p.m. matchup.

“It’s about time siguro for them to get back on us dahil last time we beat them,” Austria said. “At the back of their minds di nila makakalimutan yun eh.”

Craig, who registered 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists that negated his nine turnovers against the Picanto, is facing the Beermen for the first time since he and Commissioner’s Cup standby import Mike Myers got involved in a commotion with SMB players and officials at one point in the last finals.

And the TNT import is matching up against a fellow burly, yet mobile SMB counterpart in Wendell McKines, who showed he’s the right fit for the Beermen after putting up 19 points, 12 boards, five assists, and one steal in less than 21 minutes of play against the Elite.

Defending champion Ginebra seeks to follow up its 124-108 win over Globalport last Sunday as it takes on Kia in the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos