MANILA, Philippines – Leo Austria, the coach of San Miguel Beer, is voluntarily controlling his enthusiasm in this particular situation.
When the Beermen take on the Meralco Bolts on Friday, a game that concludes the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at the PhilSports Arena, Austria stated he will let chief deputy Jorge Gallent to continue coaching their team.
Austria said, “May momentum kami and ayokong sirain iyon.” “Coach Jorge, you’re a total no-show for the game,” someone said.
Since Meralco is only playing to try to end its miserable season on a positive note, the game actually doesn’t matter much. Last Wednesday’s 81 to 92 loss to NLEX put the Bolts to 4 to 7 and eliminated any possibility of finishing higher than 10th.
SMB, on the other hand, has secured the No. 5 spot thanks to a 6 to5 record and will now face fourth-seeded Converge (8 to 4) in a best-of-three quarterfinal matchup win or lose.
There is only one other part of the Meralco game that Austria believes is vital, and that is breaking in Terrence Romeo for the upcoming playoff games. This would give SMB more momentum going into the quarterfinals in addition to extending its winning run to four.
Terrence, a former multiple time scoring champion who hasn’t played since before the season began due to a back injury but was reinstated to the active roster on November 21. “Si Terrence ay maglalaro, [Terrence will play]” bared Austria.
Austria continued to say, “He has dedicated time to train real hard just lately, and he is legitimately prepared. We really need him to have a good feel for the game before we can actually claim the title.”
The four-time Coach of the Year wants to personally attend the game despite having to undertake health and safety procedures since Nov. 19 and having since recovered. But he decided against doing so.
Coach Jorge Ulit, hayaan muna natin, [again, let them] said Austria. “Bukod pa nga po doon sa momentum, maganda naman na itinatakbo ng team kahit sa mga practices na andoon ako and system ko pa din naman ang ginagamit, kung ano sinasabi ko, kaya okay lang, [aside from the momentum, the team made it beautiful, even during the practices, I was there and they still do my system, so no matter what I said, it’s okay] ” said the team member.
The quarterfinals, which may begin as soon as Sunday or as late as Wednesday, Austria suggested could change everything, though.
Austria said, “Hindi ko pa din talaga alam [I just do not know yet]” but in the interim, let Jorge in.”