Aside from the criticism surrounding Renaldo Balkman’s return, having equally talented players vie for minutes might be a problem – albeit a good one – for San Miguel’s coaching staff.
With the import taking up either forward starting spots, playing time for other players will definitely take a hit.
Head coach Leo Austria, however, won’t lose sleep thinking about managing minutes and egos.
“Wala namang issue sa minutes because they understand na every time may import, may adjustment na magaganap,” he said in a phone call with FOX Sports PH.
“Nabulabog positions nila, but as a pro alam nila na mangyayari at mangyayari ‘yun. They know what’s good for the team,” the multi-titled coach added.
Primarily occupying the both forward positions, Arwind Santos might the obvious benching choice. But even in a relegated role, the team will look to accommodate him by mixing him up in different lineups and roles.
“We’re trying our best na mabigyan siya ng time. Nag-sslide down naman siya sa three, pero he can play the four and five,” Austria explained.
Versatility will be key in properly juggling the minutes. Having newcomer Christian Standhardinger, Santos and Balkman clogging the forward and center spots actually bodes well for them since they can all play three positions.
Other players can also slide down a position or two.
“The good thing with our lineup is that everyone’s adjustable. ‘Yung three pwede maging two, ‘yung two pwede maging one,” the 60-year-old coach explained.
He even bared that he could trot out a lineup with June Mar Fajardo playing alongside Balkman and Standhardinger.
“Depende talaga sa kalaban. In the future, pwede ako mag-three bigs. Alam naman nila yung ginagawa nila, they have the agility to contain different guys and they’re convertible,” Austria spoke of his wards.
SMB team manager Gee Abanilla, on the other hand, trusts that the team’s coaching staff will do a fine work with this conundrum.
“We have to simply find a way to figure out things for us considering the players that we have. And once we figure out things, I think we will be okay,” he said.