OF course, no coach would be happy to accept a defeat, no less for a mentor so used to winning like Frankie Lim.
“It could’ve been better if we won the game. We were there,” he said on the heels of Perpetual’s slim defeat to San Beda, 67-65 to open NCAA Season 94.
Jomari Presbitero missed his two free throws which could’ve iced the game for the Red Lions with 9.0 seconds left, but Prince Eze hauled down the rebound and dished the ball to Edgar Charcos to devise one last play for the Altas. Unfortunately, his cross-court pass was telegraphed and intercepted by Robert Bolick to seal the win for the defending champions.
“I felt we had full control of the game. Di sila lumayo. In the first half, I felt they struggled and we showed different looks. And it went down to our last offensive play. We threw the ball. Shit happens. Ganoon talaga,” he lamented.
But Lim wouldn’t deny how elated he was with Perpetual’s performance in the curtain-raiser, playing above and beyond his expectations to give San Beda an unexpected run for its money.
“You know, I’m happy with the performance of my players,” he said. “I’d rather look at all the positive sides of our game. A lot of good things happened. Minsan nagugulat ako with the way they execute, the way they took their shots, and yung mga looks na binigay nila. Tsaka yung tapang, nakita ko na matapang ang mga bata ko.”
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, you can go out of this place with your heads held up high. Nothing to be ashamed of. Ang kalaban natin, defending champion, intact ang lineup, ang lakas talaga niyan. But you gave your all and we floored it the whole game. Para kaming nakatapak kami sa pedal buong laro. Siguro ganoon talaga, not meant to be. But I’m proud of them. They have to admit it, kinabahan sila.”
With how good the Altas have played against the Red Lions, Lim knows that the challenge now is to keep up this play to prove that this standout performance is no one-game wonder.
“That’s the challenge, to play at a high level every single game. Hindi naman kami powerhouse eh. We cannot play na five lang, kung ire-rate mo yung game namin. Dapat eight o nine, puro ganoon. Hindi kami pwedeng maglaro ng five and expect to win, not like San Beda which is a very strong team. Kami hindi kami ganoon. Kailangan every game ganyan kami,” he said.
Perpetual looks to sustain this form when it takes on St. Benilde on Tuesday.