MANILA, Philippines – Caloy Garcia said he would have done things differently after Rain or Shine blew an enormous lead and fell to a 0-2 hole to San Miguel in their best-of-five semifinals series.
The Elasto Painters squandered a 29-point advantage in a stunning 105-117 loss as the Beermen moved one win closer from advancing to the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals on Monday, July 29.
"[I]t's partly my fault of the loss. I could have called more timeouts in the first half if I knew about it. Maybe if we can start the same way, maybe we can also have a different result," Garcia said.
Rain or Shine seemed to be on its way to levelling the series score after enjoying a 44-15 lead early in the 2nd quarter before San Miguel found its footing and started making shots.
Down 28-51, the Beermen cut their deficit to single digit in a span of minutes by unloading a 21-0 bomb – highlighted 5 straight triples – and entered the halftime break trailing 49-52.
Woes piled up for the Elasto Painters in the second half, where they were buried by as much as 23 points.
"It's a huge meltdown on our side. San Miguel is San Miguel. It's hard to keep in pace with them, like we started the game on fire, but they were able to pick up their defense and they were able to pick up their shots," Garcia said.
"They're really probably the best team in the league right now. At least the game is over. Now we just have to look at Game 3."
It is not the first time Rain or Shine wasted what seemed to be an insurmountable lead in the same conference.
Against NorthPort over a month ago, it led by as large as 25 points but fizzled out and absorbed a heart-wrenching 105-107 overtime loss.
But Garcia said what matters now is how they will redeem themselves as they try to stave off elimination in Game 3 to be staged at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, July 31.
"At the end of the day, you just have to live with it. You have to try to find ways to get better every day. We just have to hope for the best every time." – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.