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    Leo Austria comes home to Quezon but expects no homecourt edge in 'Ginebra country'

    Feb 25, 2017
    Leo Austria and the Beermen will be gunning for a 2-0 finals lead when Game Two is played on Sunday in Lucena City. Jaime Campos

    SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria insists the Beermen won’t have homecourt edge at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena, believing most of the fans will still cheer for Barangay Ginebra in Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday night.

    The SMB coach is a proud son of Sariaya which is just a little over 20 kilometers away from the capital city of Lucena, where the PBA will hold a playdate for the first time since January of last year.

    “It’s a good thing the PBA will play Game Two in Quezon. But Lucena City and Quezon, Ginebra country ‘yan eh,” Austria said in the post-game conference after the Beermen took the series opener, 109-82, on Friday night.

    “Maybe, baka makakakuha kami ng one-fourth ng fans,” he added.

    [See Ross says offseason work paying off as fatigue sets in in PBA playoffs]

    Two active PBA players from Quezon are former SMB and Ginebra players in Denok Miranda of Blackwater and NLEX’s Mac Baracael.

    The last time SMB and Austria played at the Quezon Convention Center, home-court advantage hardly played a role as the Beermen lost to Alaska, 82-75, in Game Three of the last Philippine Cup Finals, putting them on the brink of elimination and a sweep – but also setting the stage for the greatest comeback in league history.

    But as long as the Beermen click on the both ends like they did in the series opener, then it’s for them to lose, the veteran coach said.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “If we play like we played (in Game One), I think mapapatahimik namin yung crowd and they will cheer for us,” Austria said.

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    Leo Austria and the Beermen will be gunning for a 2-0 finals lead when Game Two is played on Sunday in Lucena City. Jaime Campos
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