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Coach Leo Austria is hoping that San Miguel Beer can find the right cohesion as it gears up for the final stretch of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations.

Austria admitted that constant changes since the start of the conference have left the Beermen to grope for form despite a 6-4 record and a possible twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

SMB started the conference with Brandon Brown before tapping Orlando Johnson, who lasted just three games before being replaced by current reinforcement Shabazz Muhammad.

The Beermen have also been adding players through the PBA’s new unrestricted free agent rule, first with center Rodney Brondial in January and recently Jericho Cruz, who made his debut in Thursday’s 104-100 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

“Actually we’re worried dahil we’re struggling,” Austria said. “We’re not satisfied with our performance. We’re always trying to figure it out, dahil since the start of the conference, we keep on changing.

“After three games, nagpalit kami ng import (Brown) to get another import (Johnson). Then there’s another import (Muhammad),” he added.

But Austria is also optimistic that the expected form from SMB with its deep lineup can translate into a strong showing in the games that matter, which is the playoffs.

San Miguel wrapped up the elims against Meralco on Saturday in a battle that could determine its best position to make a serious title run.

“Sana matagpuan na namin yung kailangan namin. But hindi pa rin dito natatapos, because chemistry, yan ang problema,” he said. “We will not be cohesive kung walang chemistry.”

Muhammad posted 33 points and 21 rebounds in his second game for the Beermen, this time ending up with the win after his debut was spoiled last Sunday with a 104-87 defeat to the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots.

Cruz saw action for just 11 minutes, finishing with three points, two rebounds and one steal as he’ll need plenty of time before cracking in the SMB rotation that has a bevy of guards and small forwards.

“That’s a good problem for us, dahil loaded yung 2-3 positions,” said Austria.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/03/04/smb-still-groping-for-form-admits-austria/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=smb-still-groping-for-form-admits-austria)