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Ahead of Game 4, Austria insists SMB's 2-1 Finals lead "not safe"

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By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--San Miguel may have regained the upper hand in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, but Coach Leo Austria believes his team can still blow its 2-1 lead especially against a gritty team like Ginebra.

"It's not safe, dahil alam naman natin na si Coach Tim Cone is really a great coach. [He's] very smart, and he can find ways. A lot of things could happen next game dahil they cannot afford to give us another win. At 3-1, you're in deep hole na especially against us," Austria said ahead of Game 4 of the championship round at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Friday night.

In fact, he is also wary that even if the Beermen get the Friday victory that could put them up, 3-1, in the series, the Barangay can still pull an encore of their 1991 Finals comeback against the Shell Turbo Chargers, which curiously had him in their lineup that time.

"There's a possibility na maka-recover ka.... We experienced that before. We don't want that to happen to us," continued Austria, whose SMB squad became the only team so far to steal the championship despite being down 0-3.

Cone agrees with Austria.

"You don't come back from 3-1 down very often, so it's a must-win for us," he said.

Both teams will once again face off at 7 p.m. Friday at "The Big Dome".

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno