CAFE France coach Egay Macaraya refused to dwell too much on their heartbreaking 88-86 loss to Racal in Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semfinals on Tuesday as the Bakers shift their focus on Game Two.
Macaraya said they are planning on using the lessons his young wards learned from the tough loss in time for Game Two on Thursday.
"That's the good thing about it. We’re very proud because even if we’re a young team, the boys fought well," he said after the match at the Marikina Sports Complex.
"Kulang lang talaga. That’s part of the game. They got the breaks right now. Nanalo sila, but we got our chances to win. Hopefully, this loss will make us a better team," he added.
The Bakers had the game in the bag after Rod Ebondo nailed a bail-out three pointer off a broken play with 15.1 ticks remaining, 86-85. Sidney Onwubere, though, sank a last-gasp triple in the ensuing play as the Tile Masters went on to draw first blood in the best-of-three series.
Still, Macaraya was pleased to see his wards' resilience the whole game.
"I tell them that this loss doesn’t mean anything for us, but it will always be a lesson to be a better team,” the veteran coach said.
"We will focus on our concerns and mistakes, and hopefully, bounce back on Thursday, so just enjoy and relax," he added.
But for them to get even, the amiable mentor warned his players not to rely too much on Ebondo, who carried most of the load with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
"I told the boys that we cannot play Ebondo because Ebondo is not Superman," Macaraya said.
"Ebondo will always be a problem inside but ganun yung team ko ngayon, wala akong pamalit eh. We will just try to do better next time and hopefully, positive things," he added.