FOR San Miguel winning a championship is not only a goal, it has become a lifestyle.
Gunning for a fifth straight PBA Philippine Cup title, the Beermen will face Magnolia in a best-of-seven finals series starting on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
On Monday, during the press conference at Sambokojin at Eastwood Citywalk in Quezon City, SMB coach Leo Austria did not bother to sugarcoat his thoughts on their successive finals appearance.
“I’m really feeling great about this run of San Miguel,” he said. “From the start I never expected that we can do this but because of our commitment, after winning the first championship it became a habit and then a lifestyle. Now it’s their pride.”
Austria, however, admitted that every chance they go out to play in the finals only gets tougher - not only for their team but also for their opponents.
Aside from 6-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, SMB also added 6-foot-8 Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger in its roster last year.
“Every competition, marked team na lagi ‘yung San Miguel dahil every team really wants to beat San Miguel,” he said. “Makikita mo naman eh. Last season every team is prepared especially against us.”
“Magdedevelop sila ng team ang iniisip nila San Miguel as the barometer. Naghahanap sila ng big men na pwedeng pangtapat sa mga big men namin,” he added.
Still, winning another title will always be new to them, they will never grow tired of getting another championship after another.
“It would mean a lot. Unang-una, it will become our legacy because I think this will be the first time [to win five consecutive titles]. ‘Yung four-peat meron na yatang nangyaring ganon,” said Austria.
“But this time, it’s a different story and it’s not only the five-peat, we want to win another championship,” he boldly said. “’Yung financial help is really enormous when you win a championship and this is their livelihood.”