Beermen itching to play but it all depends on situation
Coach Leo Austria and his Beermen are waiting in the wings.
Jun Mendoza

Beermen itching to play but it all depends on situation

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said the Beermen can’t wait to resume their title retention bid in the disrupted PBA Philippine Cup but conceded that health trumps everything during this crisis.

“Sana makabalik agad ang basketball but it will depend sa gagawin ng gobyerno regarding sa pag-control ng virus,” Austria said in an interview on Radyo Singko over the weekend.

“Mas mahalaga ang buhay natin kesa dito sa sports dahil makakapaghintay naman itong basketball pero itong sakit na pwedeng dumapo sa atin hindi natin dapat payagan na mangyari,” he added.

The Beermen are gunning for a six-peat in the All-Filipino in Season 45, which has been on the freezer since March 11.

Austria’s charges managed to see action in the league’s only completed game last March 8, beating Magnolia, 94-78, with injured main man June Mar Fajardo on the sidelines.

“Maraming nasorpresa kasi alam nila we will play without June Mar. Na-curious sila ano ang papakita namin and I’m happy yung mga players, yung kanilang winning attitude, yung pride nandun,” said the four-time Coach of the Year awardee.

“That’s why we played really well in our opening game but unfortunately, ‘yun ang first and last game and nasira ang momentum namin. Medyo tumaas yung kumpyansa ng team dahil nakita namin kung paano kami maglalaro (without Fajardo),” he added.

Fajardo, the six-time MVP, is recovering from a complete fracture on his right tibia he suffered in a pre-season practice last February.

“Sabi niya he (Fajardo) is doing well. Actually, nakakatayo na siya, nakakalakad na pero hindi niya pinipilit,” shared Austria.

The league hiatus has allowed the Beermen to miss the recuperating Fajardo for only one actual game to date.

“It will take about 10 months for June Mar to recover. Good thing is, hindi niya nami-miss ilang games especially kung tuluyan nang ma-cancel itong season na ito, na huwag naman sana,” said Austria.

The PBA has given itself until August to fully assess the situation and make a final decision on the fate of Season 45. Options include staging one conference and scrapping the year altogether.

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