MPBL: Defiant Imus Bandera to work on defense after another setback

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 05, 2019 01:54 PM
Defiant Imus to work on defense after another setback
"Syempre, a lot of us, first time pa rin magkakakampi. Pero yun ang kagandahan, the process just continues. Medyo masama ang simula namin sa season." - Imus Bandera guard Mikee Reyes
The Imus Bandera-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC squad will look to focus on their defensive game after losing their second straight game, this time at the hands of the Pasay Voyagers, 65-82 on Thursday at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.

A 9-0 run to start the third quarter broke the game wide open for the Voyagers, as the Bandera fell behind, 31-49 in the second half. Imus played catch up all-throughout, and never got the rhythm.

Bandera head coach Buds Reyes said:

"Yung shots nila, we planned for those shots, alam naman naming maganda ititra nila from three points, may game plan naman eh. But I guess sumabog; hindi maganda ang pagkaka-execute. Yung barrage of threes nila, hindi na kami nakabangon from that."

Pasay made 9-of-29 from three-point land, five more conversions than Imus. Guard Mikee Reyes, who returned to the starting line-up after a minor ankle injury, mentioned the squad will focus on their defensive schemes in the succeeding games to come.

"May schemes naman kami na pina-practice pero hindi pa plantsadong-plantsado. I think at the end of the day, it is about trusting each other na gagawin nila ang role nila each possession. Familiarity with each other na rin yan at the end of the day and committing to the schemes. Especially now, we had seven days to prepare pero hindi namin nagawa," said Reyes, adding chemistry might still be an issue for the Bandera.

"Syempre, a lot of us, first time pa rin magkakakampi. Pero yun ang kagandahan, the process just continues. Medyo masama ang simula namin sa season."

Mark Doligon led the Bandera with 14 points, while James Martinez, who played in spite of a nagging left ankle sprain off the bench, finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. 

Martinez led a fight-back in the fourth period for Imus, although the effort came short. Imus shot only 37 percent from the field overall.

"Feeling ko relaxed yung start namin noong third quarter. Nag-relax, lumobo ng bente yung lamang, and feeling down na lahat from there. Bagsak na eh. Ako, ginawa ko, kinayod ko, pero talo pa rin. Wala pa ring kwenta. Feeling ko, kaya naman galingan sa depensa and the offense will come. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss pero 27 games pa," said Martinez.

But in spite of going down to 1-2 in the team standings of the early season, the Bandera remain optimistic that they could pick up valuable lessons from their first three outings and become a better and more cohesive unit moving forward.

"Last two games namin have been horrific, but if you will look at this line-up, there's no way that's how this line-up will play or that's how it's going to be for the rest of the season. I'm positive we will find each other and each will find their identity. If anything is positive, hindi talaga basta-basta ang players dito. We definitely could play better individually and as a team," said the younger Reyes.

About Imus Bandera-Khaleb Shawarma/GLC:

Imus Bandera-Khaleb Shawarma is one of the 10 pioneering teams of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League playing in the Southern Division of the league playing at the Imus City Sports Complex in Imus, Cavite, a third-class city in the Philippines.

The Bandera holds a 1-2 record in the Southern Division of the Lakan Cup. They will play their fourth game on Monday, July 8 at the Cuneta Astrodome against the Bicol Volcanoes.

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