BIG CHILL vows to bounce back strong with an intact nucleus after its stunning elimination in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
“We will learn from this and bounce back next conference,” said coach Robert Sison moments after the Superchargers lost to Air21-Jose Rizal University, 80-71, in their do-or-die encounter for a berth in the semifinals on Thursday.
The setback saw the Superchargers throw away their twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals. The Bombers earlier forged the winner-take-all showdown with a 63-61 win.
Big Chill was heavily favored going into the season-opening conference after acquiring some of the best collegiate players around in Far Eastern University star Terrence Romeo and top Adamson scorer Alex Nuyles.
But the Superchargers underachieved as they failed to secure one of two outright semifinal berths at the end of the eliminations.
Worst, Romeo suffered a conference-ending hand injury - a setback which Sison admitted led to their downfall.
“Malaking bagay si Terrence kasi I think he is our main point guard, number one, and number two, he is the glue that binds us together. Kapag maganda laro niya, maganda laro ng lahat,” Sison said.
But the coach also credited JRU for wanting to win the series more.
“I was monitoring the D-League games and I saw how JRU picked up. I was telling myself that I don’t want to play this team in the playoffs. And I ended up playing them.
“If we beat them, we don’t deserve to be in the semifinals because we were not shooting our free throws, we were not hustling. That was the story of the series,” said Sison.
The concurrent assistant coach of Barako Bull in the PBA, Sison will be banking on the lessons learned this conference and an intact lineup for the next tournament when all of his big guns are expected to return.
“Mahaba ‘yung mga kontrata ng mga players. ‘Yung may collegiate teams, they have contracts with us. (I expect) that (it) will hold,” Sison said.