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Disrespecting Alaska! Austria eyes Ginebra in Finals


By Mark Patriarca

San Miguel is still one win away from their return trip to the Finals, but as early as now, Beermen coach Leo Austria is already looking a bit too far ahead as he set his eyes to a possible PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals showdown against Ginebra.

“I think it will be a good series against Ginebra,” Austria told sports reporters after their 105-94 win over the Alaska Aces in Monday’s Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinal series.

The crowd-darling Ginebra is currently locked in a semis series of its own against Rain or Shine where it is currently ahead, 1-0, with Game 2 set for Thursday.

However, Austria seems quite confident that the Kings will go on to beat the Elasto Painters.

“Alam naman natin na they are the hottest team in the league right now,” said Austria of Ginebra, which has now won eight games in a row.

One crucial part of the Gin Kings’ solid run so far is the addition of veteran sniper Jeff Chan, which, according to Austria, is a move to counter his SMB’s zone defense.

“Nag-beef up sila, with the addition of Jeff Chan. So probably they are preparing their team for our zone defense against them,” he claimed.

Easier said than done but Austria’s vision is hard to argue. Under him, San Miguel has won six titles in the past four years.

For its part, Ginebra has won two titles in the last two years, both coming from the season-ending conference.