Austria expects Elijah Millsap to use SMB game v Blackwater as warm up for playoffs

Leo Austria said Sunday’s no-bearing game against also-ran Blackwater is a huge opportunity for comebacking import Elijah Millsap to get reintegrated into the Beermen’s system in time for the playoffs.

Arriving in Manila Thursday morning, the 6-foot-4 Millsap had at least three practice sessions, before making his debut in the PBA Governors Cup.

“I think after his last stint in Petron, he has played in a lot of leagues and then nakalaro din siya sa NBA so that means, he has something to offer na wala sa iba,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said on the eve of his team’s (7-3) 4:30 p.m. match versus the woeful Elite side (1-9).

The sweet-shooting Millsap will serve as the Beermen’s third reinforcement for the conference, succeeding Mike Singletary, who lasted just three games after filling in for the injured AZ Reid.

With Millsap around, the San Miguel is confident the team now has a reliable player who can facilitate, can attack the basket and even bring additional perimeter shooting.

“The fact that Elijah made it to the NBA means he’s been playing really well,” he added.

And even if the Beermen will be going up against an Elite side that has lost its last eight contests, Austria vowed not to play complacent basketball at all.

“Kami, we want to win para maganda ang pasok namin sa playoffs,” he said.

Millsap’s initial PBA campaign saw him lead Petron (San Miguel’a former name) to the 2013 Governors Cup Finals where the Boosters lost to San Mig (now Star) in seven games. – Richard Dy

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