THE road to completing the grand slam just got rougher as the San Miguel Beermen crashed to sixth place in the PBA Governors' Cup after a 101-104 loss to Meralco on Sunday.
The Beermen will now face a twice-to-beat, full-strength Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
But San Miguel coach Leo Austria is unfazed, clinging to the tiniest hopes they will find a way to squeeze through the defending c hampions and advance to the next phase of the tournament.
After all, they were no stranger to such situations.
If they could claw back 0-3 deficit to win the PBA Philippine Cup championship in 2016, why can't the Beermen overcome the Gin Kings’ twice-to-beat edge now?
"Twice-to-beat, nandito naman kami noon eh. Maraming beses na nangyari sa'min yan - 0-3 kami, nanalo pa rin kami. We're down against Meralco before, tinalo pa rin namin sila. This time, we'll try again," he said.
"We need two wins to get into the semis. Yung inaasam namin na mag-champion this conference, nandoon pa rin naman eh."
While hope's not lost yet for the Beermen, Austria said they need to double their effort as they prepare for a dogfight against the Justin Brownlee-led squad.
"But we need to step up dahil this is a different situation right now especially if you're up against Ginebra," he said.
"Kailangan namin masustain yung energy namin dahil we're up against Ginebra. Alam naman natin yung crowd eh nandyan always for them to support. We will see what will happen."