Picanto "back to the salt mines" after loss
Philip Matel on Jan 24, 2018 08:03 PM
Kia Picanto head coach Ricky Dandan is not looking for excuses for the lack of bigs as they missed Eric Camson and Jackson Corpuz' presence in the paint. (FILE PHOTO)
After a breakthrough win against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Sunday that ended Kia's 16-game losing streak, the Picanto are "back in the salt mines" after another devastating 105-76 loss against the Meralco Bolts at the Araneta Coliseum.
Playing without big men Eric Camson (serving suspension) and Jackson Corpuz (injury), the Picanto actually put up a battle against the also-struggling Bolts in the first period, which saw 12 lead change and two ties, before the Bolts' offense throttled and zapped Kia into oblivion.
By halftime, it was already a blowout, with Meralco going ahead by 19, 60-41.
"We couldn't answer (the Meralco run in the second), Picanto head coach Ricky Dandan said. "Third quarter, we tried to make a run, but give it to Meralco, they played good defense in that particular quarter, that we weren't able to control."
The former UP Fighting Maroons tactician is not looking for excuses for the lack of bigs, as he even included in the team's game plan their lack of height in the game, warning his crew of slipping away from the game, which did happen in the Bolts' massive run in the second.
However, despite lacking big men, Kia did fight in the paint, as the Bolts only came up with a 54-47 rebound advantage by the end of the game.
Dandan even found a diamond in the rough as rookie forward/center Jon Jon Gabriel contributed 13 points and six rebounds in over 15 minutes of playing time.
"That's the bright spot for us. Jon is a rookie, he will be very promising and we are fortunate to have him here. Maybe, our bigs being gone is a blessing, because we were able to give Jon playing time, so he has a lot of promise, and tend to build from that. I expect him to be a part of the rotation now, we'll see."
As for facing tougher competition in Talk N' Text and Ginebra for their next two contests, Dandan says that a week's preparation will be the same.
"We consider all the teams we face top tier, so mostly the personnel that we're up against, that's what we prepare for, we have a week to prepare against TNT, we'll see. "
follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.