CEBUANA Lhuillier coach Boycie Zamar took the blame for the team’s failure to reach the finals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup after the Gems lost to Cagayan Valley Rising Suns in their do-or-die encounter Thursday, 103-85.
Nonetheless, he was happy and satisfied with what the Gems had accomplished as great underdogs in the best-of-three semifinals series.
“As a coach and as a professional, you take the blame,” Zamar said. “We want to make it to the finals pero ‘yung achievement ng team, hanggang semifinals lang.”
Zamar credited the Rising Suns for their effort that rewarded them the right to face Hapee Toothpaste in the best-of-three title series that starts Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Gems last made the finals during the league’s inaugural conference in 2010-2011 (Foundation Cup).
“Cagayan really played good. Credit to them,” said Zamar, who was gentleman enough to shake hands with Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua. The two had a couple of run-ins in the heated series.
Still, Zamar said he doesn’t want to take anything away from Cebuana Lhuillier’s achievement this conference that saw the fifth-seeded Gems reach the semis by overcoming Jumbo Plastic’s twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“Hindi mo puwedeng ma-discredit ‘yung mga players. From number five, to number three. From number three, you are playing number one. We are the underdogs but nobody thought we would reach this far,” he said.
“It was a good season for us kahit na medyo rocky tapos nasa taas. Medyo rough sailing,” said Zamar.