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Beermen’s bid

Manila, Philippines – San Miguel starts its quest to rebound from its disappointing title loss in the ASEAN Basketball League next month with a pair of games overseas.

The Beermen, now handled by coach Leo Austria, open the season against the defending champion Indonesia Warriors on Jan. 11 in Jakarta before traveling to Ho Chi Minh City for a match with the Saigon Heat on Jan. 26.

Despite topping the elimination round with a 17-4 record in their inaugural year in the regional-based league, the Beermen absorbed a heartbreaking loss to Indonesia in their three-game finals series.

Eager to bounce back, the Beermen acquired the services of former PBA Most Valuable Players Asi Taulava and Eric Menk to backstop holdover and reigning ABL MVP Leo Avenido.

Last week, the team tapped Austria to replace Bobby Parks, who had to relinquish the post because of health reasons.

The Adamson mentor was one of the chief assistants of Parks last year. This time, the ex-PBA Rookie of the Year and a three-time champion coach in the now-defunct PBL will try to meet expectations.

Indonesia remains the team to beat with American import Steve Thomas and Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle back for another tour of duty with the Westports Malaysia Dragons of Filipino Ariel Vanguardia as one of the possible spoilers. (Jonas Terrado)