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    Cone tags SMB 'GOAT', but Austria still bracing for Ginebra stand

    Jul 24, 2018
    SMB coach Leo Austria is flattered, but is playing down Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone's label on this batch of Beermen as the greatest team of all time.
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone has branded San Miguel Beer as perhaps one of the greatest teams in the PBA, but Beermen head coach Leo Austria refused to be carried away by the tag as there is still work to be done before they can win the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.

    Moments after Ginebra finished off Rain or Shine in their best-of-five semifinal series, Cone set his sights on San Miguel, and the two-time Grand Slam coach said the odds will be tough against the Beermen, perhaps one of the greatest teams assembled in the league.

    “This might be the greatest team of all time. They very well could be the greatest team of all time. So the challenge is out there for us. I think our guys are going to embrace it,” said Cone.

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      When asked about Cone’s statements during Tuesday’s press conference, Austria is flattered by Cone’s remarks, but the San Miguel coach knows full well that the label will not earn them the championship for the Commissioner’s Cup.

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      “I’m so thankful dahil they are admiring what we did in the last three years. But the last championship, the few championships we got, it’s not a guarantee that we will win the championship,” Austria said.

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      Austria won the first and only time he faced Cone when San Miguel beat Ginebra, 4-1, in last year’s Philippine Cup.

      Austria said Cone is one of the coaches he has admired since his early days in coaching, that is why his words mean a lot.

      “Of course, he is a veteran. As I said before, he is one of my idols when I was still in amateurs. I’m happy to face him. I think this is going to be an exciting game for us,” said Austria.

      Austria, however, said the Beermen’s success doesn’t mean Ginebra will not be a potent challenger for the Commissioner’s Cup crown.

      “We are ready whatever kind of resistance we may get this conference. It’s really hard because I admire their team especially this conference. They are like a well-oiled machine. After a 1-5 elimination, they lost only once. I think that’s a big morale-booster for the team,” said Austria.

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      SMB coach Leo Austria is flattered, but is playing down Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone's label on this batch of Beermen as the greatest team of all time.
      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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