SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is scrambling to put his charges’ minds in order.
Coach Bong Ravena of TNT has no such problem and knows the Tropang Giga are locked in going to their match against the Beermen tonight in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
TNT is looking for its third win in as many games that should push it ahead of Rain or Shine, which battles Terrafirma in the opener.
Ravena knows his team is sure to have a tough task against an SMB side eyeing to bounce back big time from a sorry 83-87 defeat to Rain or Shine last Tuesday.
“We know how they can play. They’re a champion team, they’re veterans,” said Ravena.
“We have to be ready. Coming from a loss we know they’re going to come back strong,” added Ravena. “For sure their mentality is, they won’t let us win. We should be ready.”
Austria has also drilled his squad on their gameplan during their practices the last two days and also spent time setting their collective mind-set straight.
“They have to realize na this is it, na kailangan baguhin na namin mind-set namin and consider every game as important. We have to play our best every time,” said Austria.
“Kasi we were thinking na we’re good… kayang laging come from behind,” added Austria.
“I told them we cannot relax and we cannot afford to have another slow start. Dahil every team dito all out, very aggressive.”
More so TNT, which has Roger Pogoy and Bobby Ray Parks alternately turning in a career-best 40-point game in their first two starts.
It is on his charges that Austria is more focused on. “Sana masunod nila gameplan and talagang baguhin nila mind-set nila,” he said.
“This is not a simple out-of-town game. This is now official. Business is business and that they have to perform each and every game.”
That win over the defending champion is a big morale-booster for Rain or Shine, but coach Caloy Garcia knows Terrafirma (formerly Columbian) is another tough test despite the Dyip’s 101-112 loss to TNT also last Tuesday.
“They have youth, they can run the floor, they’re faster,” noted Garcia.
(AUF Sports and Cultural Center)
4 p.m. — Terrafirma vs. Rain or Shine
6:45 p.m. – SMB vs. TNT