NOTHING can stop RK Ilagan in his desire to help San Sebastian as much as he could.
Not even a guesome cut over his right eye.
Bloodied after receiving an inadvertent elbow from a driving Kraniel Villoria just before the halftime break, the pint-sized sniper shook off his injury and still came back for the Golden Stags in the second half to log four points and three assists in 24 minutes of play.
“Gusto ko lang ituloy yung ginagawa ng teammates ko, o kung pwede, higitan ko pa yung energy at effort nila,” he said.
Ilagan’s efforts did inspire San Sebastian to erect a 13-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
However, that was when everything went downhill as Arellano went on a tear, coming back and taking the 82-81 overtime win capped off by a gutsy triple from Levi dela Cruz on Friday.
Ilagan couldn’t help but blame himself for the defeat, with him focusing on his paltry 1-of-6 shooting and his four turnovers.
“Ang dami kong mali. Ang daming crucial turnovers kong nagawa kaya siguro natalo kami,” he said.
Despite the Golden Stags sitting with a 2-3 record, Ilagan believes that it’s still too early for them to push the panic button, knowing that all the team needs to do is to learn from its mistakes and stay true to the kind of team coach Egay Macaraya built them to be: a hard-knocks defensive team.
“Kailangan naming bumawi sa depensa. Dapat huwag kaming ma-kumpyansa kahit na nakakalamang na kami. Kailangan din naming i-lessen yung mga turnovers namin kasi doon nakakahabol yung mga kalaban. Dapat mas alagaan namin yung bola,” he said.
“Pero depensa pa rin. Kailangan pa naming diinan yun sa next games namin.”