ROD Ebondo played his usual dominant game but found no support in Centro Escolar University's 56-78 loss to Cignal in Game One of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup finals on Tuesday.
The Congolese import did almost everything for the Scorpions with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks.
But while Ebondo was productive as ever, the locals were not.
Explosive guards JK Casino and Orlan Wamar both wound up scoreless in the match, while Aaron Jeruta was limited to just three markers in the match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Casino offered no excuse, saying the Hawkeyes simply shut them down from the start as he went 0-of-9 from the field.
"Nakapag-adjust sila sa plays namin pati individual tendencies namin. Dun sila naka-focus. Halos lahat ng mga shooters namin were shooting blanks," said the spitfire guard, whose team made a shot a horrendous 21-of-82 from the field.
This is what the Scorpions need to address in time for Game Two on Thursday, 5 p.m. at the same venue.
The Scorpions are looking not only to extend the series but to make a statement that their basketball program is a cut above the rest.
"Gigil kami makabawi. Gusto namin magkaron ng impact all the way. Nung start no expectations kami, pero ngayon na nandito kami, all out kami," he said.
"Gusto namin makapagbigay ng statement na even though wala kami sa UAAP at NCAA, we can still make impact in basketball in the Philippines," added Casino, whose team participates in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League.