NO ifs, no buts.
Point guards LA Tenorio and Jayson Castro readily took the blame for the listless plays of Gilas Pilipinas in a 99-87 win over a fighting PBA All-Star side on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
As Tenorio and Castro struggled, Gabe Norwood and veteran Jimmy Alapag picked up the cudgels and spared Gilas blushes as they towed the nationals to victory behind a 27-4 run in the final quarter.
Both Tenorio and Castro later admitted to Spin.ph they really played bad on this night.
“This is the worst game na nilaro namin as a team after all the training na ginawa namin outside the country,” said Tenorio, who finished the game with just three points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Tenorio and Castro also combined for eight of the team’s 21 turnovers in a woeful performance that drew the ire of Chot Reyes after a game which ironically the Gilas coach had earlier described as having "no significance from a basketball standpoint" for the Fiba-Asia- bound team.
“Our point guards were terrible tonight. Jayson and LA just didn’t play well,” Reyes lamented. “They played as if they didn’t know how to play. They took a really bad ball game. No excuse.”
So disappointed Reyes was with the way Castro played that he benched his Talk `N Text stalwart the entire second half.
In all, Castro just played a total of 10 minutes and finished with four points.
“Parang nanibago lang, kasi first time namin maglaro sa harap ng fans. Medyo nag-relax siguro dahil alam namin kaya ang kalaban,” explained Castro.
But on a positive note, Tenorio said their bad showing can still be addressed considering the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship is still a week away.
“Parang di kami marunong mag-basketball kanina. We started flat, then finished the half ganun din. Walang nag-u-usap, walang nag-tu-tulungan, di kami ganun maglaro eh,” said the Barangay Ginebra stalwart.