MANILA, Philippines – Marc Pingris blames a lapse in discipline for the Star Hotshots’ uncanny collapse against the Alaska Aces in game 1 of their 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series on Wednesday, July 1.
“Nawala yung discipline namin. Especially yung depensa namin nawala din (We lost our discipline. Especially our defense we lost it too),” the veteran forward said following the Star’s 97-91 loss after leading by as much as 18 points in the first half.
Pingris further attributed their meltdown to breaking away from team play with each player attempting to save the day.
“Nagkanya-kanya ulit kami,” Pingris explained. “Yun yung sakit namin pag nahahabol na kami e. Gusto trabahuhin lahat. Kailangan talaga lima talaga maglaro e, hindi lang puwede isa dalawa o tatlo.” (We played individually again. That’s our tendency when teams catch up to us. Everyone wants to do everything. It really must be 5 players playing, not just one or two or 3.)
Indeed, it’s been the same habit the Hotshots keep trying to overcome this season. The defending champions struggled through the same problem in the Commissioner’s Cup, and in the Governors’ Cup, against a dangerous team like Alaska, they still have no answer.
The Hotshots broke down on a huge 34-19 third quarter surge from the Aces as PJ Simon carried them with his 8 points in that frame.
They never regained control in the fourth despite their best efforts as they snapped a 5-game winning streak dating back to the elimination round.
“Kailangan hindi mawala talaga yung disiplina namin. Yun talaga ang tumatalo sa amin,” said Pingris. “Sabi rin ni coach kanina na malakas kami pag naglalaro kami as a team. Ngayon, yung momentum namin parang bumaba so kailangan talaga makuha namin next game.”
(We must never lose our discipline. That’s what’s beating us. Coach told us that we’re strong but only if we play as a team. Now, our momentum dipped so we really need to win next game.)
Star’s fate was eerily similar to that of Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals, where Alaska came back from 16 points and likewise used a third quarter rally to come-from-behind and advance.
Head coach Tim Cone reminded his players of what happened to Ginebra, when a slew of technical fouls spawned a long lull that turned the Gin Kings cold.
This meltdown was also something Cone was wary about in their own quarterfinals series against Globalport, where he reprimanded Pingris and import Marqus Blakely in the second game for unnecessary heightened emotions that could have turned momentum against them.
Pingris, who had a quiet 4-point, 3-rebound night off the bench, stressed that Star must regain their sense of unity for game 2 of the best-of-5 series on Friday, July 3, lest they want to sink to the standards of a local community basketball team.
“Nasa sa amin din kasi yun e, pag nandun yung willing talaga kami maglaro, mahirap kaming talunin,” he said. “Pero pag nagkanya-kanya, kahit sino, kahit inter-barangay puwede kaming talunin. Kailangan talaga disiplina.”
(It’s really up to us, when we are truly willing to play together, we’re hard to beat. But if we’re playing individually, anybody, even teams from the inter-barangay league can defeat us. We really need discipline.) – Rappler.com