CAGAYAN Valley coach Alvin Pua rued the Rising Suns’ dismal long-range shooting that factored heavily in their 82-74 loss to Hapee in Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Finals on Monday.
An above-average three-point shooting team, the Rising Suns missed all but one of their 22 shots from beyond the arc for an miserable five-percent clip.
The Fresh Fighters took a huge 20-point lead early and never looked back.
“Hindi kami kumonekta sa outside shots namin,” Pua said. “Nung hindi nila nakuha yung rhythm nila, siguro na-upset na rin.”
[See Hapee draws first blood in Aspirants Cup finals with surprisingly easy win over Cagayan Valley]
Except for Randy Dilay (1-of-2), all the Rising Suns’ sharpshooters were off target, including Don Trollano (0-of-5), Abel Galliguez (0-of-5) and Andrian Celada (0-of-4).
“That’s the big difference. That’s unheard of for our team,” Rising Suns star slotman Mo Tautuaa said. “If just half of those fell in, it would’ve been a completely different game.”
Pua also felt the Fresh Fighters were more aggressive in driving the lane, evidenced by their 42 attempts from the charity stripe, 20 more than Cagayan’s free-throw tries.
“Hoping naman ako na-ba-bounce back,” Pua said.