PBA: Will heads roll at San Miguel?

fajardo, cabagnot and santos

The PBA Governors Cup has gotten underway and we have seen a lot of impressive reinforcements thus far.

A lot of teams are hungry at redemption, particularly the ones who got the boot in the recently concluded PBA Commissioners Cup which was won by the Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters.

There is one team that continues to struggle though.

After winning the PBA Philippine Cup, the San Miguel Beermen were expected to debut with a bang. But as it turned out, the Beermen started once again on the wrong foot after losing to the upset-conscious Kia Carnival team yesterday, 83-78.

Arizona Reid was reportedly not 100%, suffering from a bum stomach. There were some players who put up numbers but conspicuously absent was former MVP winner Arwind Santos. He ended with just 5 points for the entire game.

Reid is a fine reinforcement but the Beermen cannot totally rely on the veteran import. The locals have to contribute as well. Players like Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and JuneMar Fajardo did try but a 5-point production from a former MVP is pretty much unacceptable.

According to head coach Leo Austria, the team may have played relaxed since Kia was a team that many believe is an easy opponent. However, the Beermen may have forgotten that Kia had their number, a team which handed them a loss during the PBA Commissioners Cup.

Of course, it was just the first game for the Beermen so it may be too early to tell. But the Beermen have been notorious for playing half-heartedly, something former players have said that some players just don’t want to get their ‘hands dirty’. Technically it is short of saying that they are fine with their hefty paychecks.

However, coach Austria bared that SMB boss Robert Non has had enough of the losing. In fact, he would not hesitate to trade anybody if they continued to play the way they did against Kia.

For coach Leo Austria, it was evident he was frustrated at how the team is performing. And he summed it up as an attitude problem.

“For me, it’s not only talent eh, it’s the attitude eh,” Austria said about his team’s struggles. “Talent is nothing if you cannot work hard. But if you work hard, then talent will prevail.” (GMA News)

San Miguel has had the knack of changing coaches after two conferences. It remains to be seen if Austria would be snagged with that routine despite leading the team to the PBA Philippine Cup some months ago.

Santos, someone that SMB said was untouchable, is under the radar as well. Ever since he came to the ballclub, he has only helped the team to two PBA titles. So does that untouchable tag remain? Only SMC big boss Ramon S. Ang holds the answer to that.

The same goes for other players in the star-studded lineup, except maybe for June Mar Fajardo who has not been afraid to give it all, even when injured.

If the Beermen continue to lose, expect heads to roll. The good thing is that the Beermen have just played one game though the ghost of the PBA Philippine Cup still lingers in the air.

That time, they went 0-4 after winning the PBA Philippine Cup, something which many claim was a championship hangover. Then there was the import problem they had, changing reinforcements perhaps a bit too late.

But with a full conference gone by, that has to be some hangover if the team continues to perform below par.