"At least hindi na kaming papuntang Boracay pa muna"
Paul Lintag on Jan 29, 2017 09:09 AM
Despite losing one game by 44 points, another one by 21 points, and another two by a combined 34 points, Mathew Wright and the Phoenix Fuel Masters are in the playoffs with a 6-5 mark, winning four of their last six games.
While their playoff fate remains in limbo, Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia has a lot to be thankful for.
That's because despite losing one game by 44 points, another one by 21 points, and another two by a combined 34 points, the Fuel Masters are in the playoffs with a 6-5 mark, winning four of their last six games.
They're also the only team to put a blemish on two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer's record.
"Magdadasal kami ngayon," Vanguardia said regarding their final playoff seeding.
"Pero at least hindi na kaming papuntang Boracay pa muna di ba? We have plenty to be thankful for," he added making a playful comment on the infamous joke fans love to throw around every time some certain teams make an early PBA exit.
Despite making a late run to the playoffs, Vanguardia is out to keep his team in check heading into the quarterfinals against whoever.
That's because by his account, the Phoenix team that showed up against the Aces Friday wasn't the same team that made a strong push to advance to the post-season for the second straight conference.
The team that got beat by the Aces by 21 points eerily resemble the unit that got demolished by Star to the tune of 44 points early this season.
Vanguardia hopes to correct that in time.
"We have to check ourselves. Today, yung nakita kong team was the team that played the first five games of the eliminations, hindi yung last six games," he said.
"There's a lot to be thankful for but this is part of growing up, games like this," Vanguardia added.
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