|June 2, 2017||4:15 pm||PBA|
|Smart Araneta Coliseum|
THE PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals do not kick off until next week, but San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria has already instilled a playoffs mindset for his charges.
“Ang treatment namin sa laro bukas parang start na ng best-of-three,” said Austria on the eve of his Beermen’s match against resurgent GlobalPort Friday, the final day of the mid-season tourney’s eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Kapag nanalo kami kailangan namin isang panalo na lang to get into the semifinals,” added Austria. “Kung matatalo kami, kailangan pa rin naming manalo ng two games to get in to the semifinals.
“So, ‘Let us start our quarterfinals tomorrow.’ Iyun ang sinasabi ko sa kanila. Hindi na kailangang matalo ng isa pa para to have a series.”
Indeed, the stakes are simple enough.
A win by SMB would secure it a top two finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round. A loss would relegate the Beermen to No. 4 and a win-twice duel with fifth-ranked Meralco.