San Miguel management suspended three of its players following a scuffle during team practice last Sunday, November 17 at the Upper Deck gym in Pasig City.
Head coach Leo Austria explained that the move to suspend Arwind Santos, Ronald Tubid and Kelly Nabong indefinitely was made in order to send a strong message to the rest of the team of what awaits those who step out of bounds.
“That’s what the organization stands for eh. Talagang we have to do something that could give us some reminders that nobody is above the policies of the company,” said Austria.
While it may affect the team in terms of showing up undermanned during games, the 61-year old native of Sariaya, Quezon believes such bold moves will augur well for the team in the long run.
“Maybe it’s a minor setback, but moving forward I think it will help us a lot. Because it’s a strong signal to everybody and the team that they cannot do something silly.”
“Everyone should think of the team bago yung sarili nila. It’s a strong signal for everyone.”
With the three suspended players out of the roster for the team’s crucial game against the TNT KaTropa, the Beermen tried valiantly but failed to overcome their bitter rival and lost the contest to crash out of the top 4.
As a result of that pivotal loss, the Beermen settled for No. 5 and will face sister team Brgy. Ginebra with a twice-to-win disadvantage in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup which is set to kick-off on Sunday, November 24.
For Austria, the current predicament in nothing but a test of character for the Grand Slam-chasing squad.
“This is a test of character. In these circumstances, kahit wala ka na nakikitang light after doon sa dulo ng tunnel, it’s something na could develop the character of the team.”