It certainly can’t get any worse, can it?
The Cebu City Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol have been left to ask this question as frustrations continue to pile up in their maiden campaign in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup.
The Sharks suffered their fourth loss in a row on Tuesday night - a 76-107 loss to the Manila Stars that went down in the history books after the Cebu side ended up going scoreless, 0-27, at the end of the first quarter.
It wasn’t until three minutes into the second when the Cebu team finally cracked the scoring column. By then, the Stars had already established a 29-0 lead.
“It was embarrassing,” said veteran gunner Patrick Cabahug, who led the Sharks in scoring with 28 points.
In the Cesafi, the lowest output for a team in a single period is two points by the University of Cebu in 2016. UC was headed for a shutout against the University of the Visayas before JR Puerto – who ironically is now playing for the Sharks – scored on two free throws with 0.7 of a second remaining in the first.
“Of course, it’s frustrating. The whole of Cebu is expecting a lot from us and that is to at least win a game. We have to remain positive and learn from this. We have to stay together as a team and use this as motivation to fight even harder in our next game,” shared the former Adamson Falcon.
The Sharks are near their breaking point with a source disclosing that frustration levels are so high that an argument between a player and a coach broke out in the dugout over a timeout not being called to douse water on a scoring run by the Stars.
Shot selection is also a growing concern among players, another insider bared.
“Every day, lumalaban kami sa practice at binubuhos namin lahat. Maganda naman nilalaro namin sa ensayo pero pagdating sa actual game, nawawala kami kasi one or two passes pa lang, tinitira na agad,” said reserve wingman Iron Suano, a product of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
“Hindi rin kami dumedepensa ng maayos. We’re playing as individuals when we are out there on the court. That’s one thing that we’re struggling with. That has to change,” he added, referring to the fact that Manila shot 60 perfect from the field in their game the other night.
Cabahug though, continues to implore his teammates to pick themselves up.
“We have to change our mindset and really believe that we can compete in this league and win. We’ve got to continue to grow as a team. Our record won’t define us, it is how we continue to fight, get better and get ready for our next game and hopefully win,” he said.
The road however, only gets harder from here for the Sharks as they next face the reigning champions Batangas City Athletics on August 2 at the latter’s home floor.