SAN Miguel coach Leo Austria is embracing the label on the Beermen as the team to beat for the coming season of the PBA starting in the Philippine Cup.
The Beermen are being tagged as the overwhelming favorite for the 44th season of the league mainly because of their acquisition of Terrence Romeo, who was moved by TNT during the offseason.
“Hindi na kami bago sa ganung naririnig natin na kami ‘yung favorite o team to beat this conference,” said Austria on Thursday during the PBA Media Day at the Solaire Resorts and Casino.
“I’m happy to be tagged as the team to beat dahil kapag ginawa nila ‘yun, ibig sabihin, may takot sila at meron kaming chance sila na manalo ng championship this conference,” Austria added.
Austria, though, said the label as the team to beat will also mean that every team in the PBA will be going all out to try and beat the Beermen.
“Ang malungkot lang doon, lagi kaming paghahandaan ng bawat team sa PBA. Na-experience ko na every game namin, well-prepared ang kalaban namin,” said Austria.
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Aside from Romeo, the Beermen also became even more formidable with the return of veteran Ronald Tubid and addition Paul Zamar. Both will play a major role to the system, according to Austria.
“Napaka-gandang addition ‘yun. Alam naman natin na before, tina-tag kami na napakaliit ng rotation. With Terrence Romeo, Ronald Tubid, and Paul Zamar, I think hahaba ‘yung rotation namin. These guys can help on offense and defense especially Tubid, alam naman natin ‘yung angas niya at alam niya kung papaano manalo ng championship.”
As for Zamar, Austria said: “It’s a good complement para sa mga big man namin especially with June Mar (Fajardo) and (Christian) Standhardinger. We need someone who can shoot from the three-point area.”