Austria not resting his laurels despite 3-1 SMB semis lead vs Ginebra

SMB goes for the kill on Saturday. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--He may have a vast knowledge of coming back from an opponent's commanding best-of-seven series lead.

But Coach Leo Austria also had an experience of blowing one of his team's own.

That's why he once again reiterated that San Miguel's 3-1 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal lead is unsafe, especially that his team is facing Ginebra.

"At 3-1, still, manageable yan para sa opponent dahil hindi ko makakalimutan that we're leading 3-1 against Ginebra noong player pa ako ng Shell and then we lost," Austria said.

He was pertaining to the 1991 First Conference Finals, where the Barangay rallied back from 1-3 down to beat the Rimula X on a last-second go-ahead runner by Rudy Distrito and the game-saving block by Jervis Cole on Ronnie Magsanoc in the title clincher.

Ginebra and San Miguel are the only two teams to fight back from a 1-3 finals deficit to win it all with the latter rallying from an even deeper hole, a 0-3 deficit.

The Beermen will have their first chance of preventing a repeat of the Barangay's 1991 conquest in Game 5 of the semifinals at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.

A win by SMB will give the team ample rest for the finals, whose schedule depends on how the other semifinal pairing between Magnolia and NLEX will end up. Both teams are to play their own semis Game 4 later Friday.

On the other hand, Ginebra needs to win Game 5 and the other two games of the series to steal the finals spot from SMB.

And with the Barangay already completing a huge comeback before, Austria stressed that he and the Beermen will not rest their laurels.

"Everything is possible, kaya di kami pwedeng mag-relax," he further said.

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