SMB prime target in Govs’ Cup

August 18, 2019
Leo Austria
Austria: Expecting daunting task for his Beermen in Governors Cup

REVENGE will be the name of the game in the PBA Governors’ Cup, and San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is expecting his Beermen to be the main target of everybody.

“Kami ngayon ang target,” said Austria on Sunday, two days after the Beermen’s Game 6 win that clinched for them Commissioner’s Cup title at the expense of Talk ‘N Text.

Austria, who led the Beermen to their 27th title overall, is seeing a close and intense fight in the season-ending conference, saying all teams have all been competitive.

“This conference is going to be really difficult. Every team is very competitive, malalakas. Katunayan sinuwerte lang kami sa Commissioners’ Cup. Nakarating kami ng finals at nagkaroon ng opportunity, so we grabbed it,” added Austria.
Owing to height limit, the Beermen will have Dez Wells as their import instead of 6-foot-9 Chris McCullough in their bid to annex the third conference and complete another grand slam season.

Only 27, Wells played for Xavier and University of Maryland in college, is a veteran of NBA G-League and Italian league, although he was undrafted  during the 2015 NBA Draft.

Nevertheless, the 6-foot-5 Wells suited up twice for the Oklahoma City Blue in the G-League where he averaged 13.0 points 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 87 games, and his skills will be put to test in the third conference where some tried and tested imports will also be around, including former best imports Allen Durham, Justin Brownlee, and Romeo Travis.

Durham will play for Meralco, Brownlee gets another tour of duty with Barangay Ginebra, and so is Travis who will suit up for Magnolia Hotshots in the season-ending conference set to start on Sept. 20.

Olu Ashaolu will also be back for another tour of duty for NLEX, while Aaron Fuller will be suiting up for the Blackwater Elite. Eugene Phelps will be at the forefront of Phoenix again. Khapri Alston, Dez Wells and KJ McDaniels are the newcomers among the confirmed batch of imports this conference.

The Columbian Dyip is hoping it would get the needed lift from Alston in its bid to improve its performance after a disappointing campaign in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Talk ‘N Text will be backstopped KJ McDaniels as it seeks to bounce back after a stinging debacle in the Commissioner’s Cup.

The 26-year-old McDaniels is a legitimate NBA veteran who was selected 32nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 and has played in 148 regular season games.