PBA: Coach Louie Alas admits Meralco had what it took to upset them
Philip Matel on Nov 10, 2018 05:56 AM
The Phoenix Fuel Masters imploded in the very eyes of the crowd, their opponents, their possible future opponents, and themselves.
The Phoenix Fuel Masters still have not found their groove in the postseason as they lost their seventh straight PBA playoff game.
What they had worked for this season, a twice-to-beat advantage in their series against two-time Finalists Meralco, went for naught.
Leading by seven, 91-84, with 3:01 to go, the Fuel Masters seemed to have the game in the bag to face the Alaska Aces, but imploded in the very eyes of the crowd, their opponents, their possible future opponents, and themselves.
Meralco never gave up and scored 10 unanswered points, and led by three, 94-91, before Rookie of the Year frontrunner Jason Perkins bailed out his boys by swishing a corner triple to tie things up at the end of regulation.
His team tried to ride on the momentum but a familiar opponent, Baser Amer, who Alas faced in the collegiate level, quickly extinguished all hopes of a comeback by scoring six quick points and never looked back.
Amer, cramps and all, sparked Meralco into the semifinal round, while Phoenix left in a fiery disaster that might have been prevented.
The 55-year old Alas also admitted the team took it hard in the locker room after such a devastating loss, but sharpshooter Matthew Wright brought up NBA history, a particular success story in particular.
"[S]abi nga ni Matthew kanina, yung Chicago, bago nag-champion, ang daming dugong inabot sa Detroit. So tayo, kailangan nating gawin yan."
"Yung San Antonio, bago naging champion yan, kung talunin ng Utah yan, sini-sweep nga ng Utah yan eh. It’s a process, yun nga lang dapat yung proseso namin, nag-uumpisa nang mag-reap ng fruits. So, we’re expecting that next year."
As they end their season and look into the next, Alas and the team will rely on two additional pieces through the PBA Rookie Draft this December and will surely bring their lessons learned from an up-and-down season.
"...[T]he last thing na pwede kong gawin dito is maggive-up sa inyo. Dapat matutunan nyo na basketball is a team [sport], di yung 5-versus-5 lang. Kasi may mga sobrang trust ko sa players ko, pwede namang hindi i-rotate eh pero iniro-rotate ko pa rin kasi gusto kong mag-grow kaming lahat. "
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