PUT themselves in position once again to win a Philippine Basketball Association Grand Slam after claiming the season-opening tournament, the San Miguel Beermen recognize the spot they are in but are choosing not to get ahead of themselves and are instead focusing on the next step first, which is the Commissioner’s Cup.

Won their fifth straight Philippine Cup title, San Miguel is the lone team anew which could complete a rare Grand Slam, or winning all three conferences in one season of Asia’s first play-for-pay league.

The Beermen were in a position to win another Grand Slam during the 2016-17 season after winning the first two conferences. But they failed to claim the Governors’ Cup championship that year to fall short.

San Miguel, however, is one of only four teams to have won a Grand Slam, the others being Crispa, Alaska and San Mig.

Crispa won it in 1983, then the Beermen in 1989 and Alaska in 1996. San Mig Coffee was the last team to achieve the feat, doing it in the 2013-14 season.

Recognizing how tough the road is to a Grand Slam, San Miguel is instead taking it a game and a conference at a time.

Speaking at the weekly forum of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) at the Amelie Hotel-Manila in Malate on Tuesday, Beermen coach Leo Austria said they are not putting too much pressure on themselves and that just going about things step by step.

“We’re not thinking about the Grand Slam. It’s one step at a time for us. We will try to win the next conference first,” said Mr. Austria, who was joined in the forum by players Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Von Pessumal as well as their Commissioner’s Cup import Charles Rhodes.

“We don’t want to put added pressure on ourselves,” he added.

Mr. Austria went on to say that they believe in Mr. Rhodes’s ability to lead them back to the Commissioner’s Cup title but that they will be up against tough opponents with solid reinforcements in the ongoing conference.

“We believe in Charles. He is a best import awardee and he can play against the best imports in this tournament,” the San Miguel coach said.

The Beermen will open their Commissioner’s Cup campaign against the Northport Batang Pier on June 5. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo