Nobody gets used to a beating like that -- Dandan on Kia blowout loss
Lumalabas diyan, I sound like a broken record already, but that's really what it is, analyzing it. We are not yet a team. Like I said, there were portions of the game that they would play together, but when the opponent makes a move, they unravel -- Kia coach Ricky Dandan
Alaska was already on top by 34 points when Carl Bryan Cruz nailed a three-pointer, a clear two strides back of the rainbow arc with just 61 seconds to go.
Eric Camson answered with a trey of his own to add some more points to Kia’s long and disappointing outing.
Aces guard Abel Galliguez was not done yet as he heaved a triple from Stephen Curry range that found the bottom of the net.
That was the kind of night for Alaska.
Everything was falling. Their defense crisp and effective.
A dominating win, highlighted by a 36-5 blitz in the third, to cap their Sunday.
Well, it was a game that would surely hurt even more when they watch the tape as they prepare for Rain or Shine in their next game.
The losses kept piling up for Kia and so was their blowout defeats.
Kia head coach Ricky Dandan could just clench his fist in frustration as the Aces pummeled Picanto, 102-65, in the 43rd PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome.
The ‘unconventional’ squad absorbed its fourth straight defeat in as many outings and 16th loss in a row since the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
Picanto now owns the third all-time longest losing streak in the league. Only Ginebra’s 17 back in 1995 and Great Taste’s 18 were worst.
But what’s even more humiliating was the fact that it was the third time Kia kowtowed to a team in a rout.
Phoenix torched them 125-102 just two days after Chirstmas before Magnolia fried them in a boiling pot of humiliation - a 124-77 bludgeoning – that seemed to have zapped the confidence out of Dandan’s men.
“It's very obvious. You know, we have a lot of weaknesses that we need to work on,” the mentor said as he emerged of their dugout for a post-game interview.
“Nobody gets used to a beating like that, three straight games,” he added. “But we just have to move on, move forward.”
Kia kept the game close in the first half, trailing by just a small margin at halftime, 39-34.
It turned brutal in third period.
One could just imagine how many times Dandan could’ve cursed inside his head watching his wards commit turnover after turnover, miss shots – if Alaska’s choking defense permitted them to make an attempt, and just get beaten so hard that the fourth period came in as just a 12-minute gap before their obvious defeat.
“Yeah, palagi eh, back to back games din. When the opponent makes a move, that's where our weaknesses come out,” said Dandan, who had the same second half meltdown against Magnolia. “Lumalabas diyan, I sound like a broken record already, but that's really what it is, analyzing it. We are not yet a team. Like I said, there were portions of the game that they would play together, but when the opponent makes a move, they unravel.”
While Alaska opened the floodgate with basket after basket in the third, Picanto’s engine stalled.
Kia only had two field goals made in the frame and just too far in between.
Rashawn McCarthy scored on a layup with 7:46 with Picanto down, 48-36. Their second basket came from Camson after two minutes to chip Alaska’s 15-point lead.
Then Reden Celda’s split at the foul line came in the last second of the period but the Aces were already miles ahead, 75-39.
Alaska put up its biggest lead, 86-46, on a Jake Pascual layup with 6:06 left.
“It's very obvious. You know, we have a lot of weaknesses that we need to work on,” said Dandan, whose wards 5-point third quarter equaled the 10th all-time fewest output by a team in a period.
The last time a team scored five in a quarter was when Alaska tallied the same output back in Game 1 of the 2015 Philippine Cup but the Aces were able to save face by winning that game in San Miguel. Only Ginebra (2003) and Mobiline (2001) had worst with just two markers.
But Dandan is not losing hope, he ain’t even thinking of pushing the panic button.
“If there's a silver lining, there were times that I saw that they were trying to play together,” he said. “But it was just overwhelming for them when we could not hit our shots, we could not make stops.”
“That was just very difficult,” Dandan added. “So I told them that you need to embrace the fact that we have a lot of weaknesses, and that we need to strengthen those weaknesses if we are to win our first game here.”
Picanto need to start their engine, if not, they’re just a couple of losses away from finding themselves on the wrong side of history.
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