Coach Leo Austria sees momentum on SMB side: ‘Hindi na namin pababayaan ito’
Jun 15, 2017
Ayaw nang paabutin ni San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria ang best-of-five series sa isang knockout encounter, kaya iisa ang layunin ng Beermen patungo sa Game 4 sa Biyernes. “It’s really hard if you’re in the situation of Star. They will do everything to tie the series, but I think with this kind of situation, momentum is on our side, hindi na namin pababayaan ito,” said Austria. "One point, one point, it doesn’t matter. Now, one win away and I think, another finals.” The Beermen are determined to finally put away the Star Hotshots, who proved to be a formidable foe for the reigning three-time Philippine Cup champions. San Miguel have salvaged one-point victories in Game 2 and 3 with Marcio Lassiter emerging as the hero in the last outing. The deadshot swingman hit a dagger step back triple that kissed glass before going in, sending the Beermen in jubilation while breaking the collective hearts of the Hotshots. Lassiter is hoping Game 4 would not be decided in the last second wherein he or any other member of the Beermen will have to make another big shot. He then addressed one important aspect that has been missing from their squad. “Star actually rebounded really well. They outrebounded us big. That’s one of the keys we needed to kinda get and reinforce in trying to get more rebounds. We’ve given them extra shots and that kinda given them a lot of buckets. If we can limit their rebounding, that could be good for us,” added Lassiter. In Game 2, while the Beermen survived the Hotshots, it's important to take note that Star import Ricardo Ratliffe managed to pull down 35 rebounds. The Beermen found themselves clobbered in the battle of the boards anew in Game 3 as Star grabbed 13 more boards than SMB did.