MANILA, Philippines – La Salle Green Archers active consultant Jermaine Byrd could not hide his disappointment after his team absorbed a 60-81 blowout loss to fellow contenders FEU Tamaraws at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
"We just came out flat, man. Just came out flat," he said after the game. "Didn't have any ball movement. Only had 10 assists. For us, we're leading the league in assists. That is not how we play."
Not playing up to standards can even be an understatement for Byrd's Archers.
Not only did they dish out dimes below their 16.5 average prior to the game, but they also gave up 81 points to a team averaging an undisputed league-worst 66.5 markers a game.
This is the same FEU team that set the league's two lowest scoring marks for the season after a 39-61 loss to NU and a 46-60 defeat to Ateneo.
"Just no communication. I thought we let our offense dictate our defense," Byrd continued.
"We didn't have a good offensive performance so it carried over to our defense. They made 13 threes. They seem like they made every shot that they shot. I thought our defense was soft and I thought we came out flat."
True enough, the offense of the guard-heavy Archers was left in shambles after team leaders Aljun Melecio and Andrei Caracut netted just 7 and 5 points, respectively, on a combined 4-of-17 clip.
Standing with a 5-6 record, the Archers now have to sweep a tough stretch against UST, UP, and Adamson to keep their Final Four hopes alive.
However, even a 3-0 finish is not a guaranteed clincher as last year's team got booted out of contention even with an 8-6 record.
Still, Byrd is not sweating the tall task ahead as they will just take it one game at a time.
"We still feel good. We just got to win every game," he said. "We still feel good. We still have 3 games left. We just got to win." – Rappler.com