SAN Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya lamented the Stags’ defensive collapse as they blew a chance for a huge boost on opening day of the NCAA Season 93 seniors basketball tournament.
The Stags were a few minutes away from pulling an upset over San Beda only to sputter in the endgame as the Red Lions displayed championship poise.
Macaraya lauded the Stags as they were able to keep the match close during opening day, but the Red Lions were too strong, using a fourth-quarter blast to pull off a 76-67 victory.
"I guess naging disadvantage kasi utak na lang nila ang nananalo pero they are not doing what they need to do in the fourth quarter. Nawala 'yung depensa at teamwork. Parang gusto nilang akuhin 'yung responsibilidad na manalo sila," said Macaraya.
"Nawala 'yung depensa namin which is 'yung advantage namin. As I've said, hindi nag-step-up lahat kaya bumigay kami sa fourth quarter," he added.
Macaraya also noted the Stags were outrebounded, 54-32.
"Tingin ko may laban kami. But the problem there was that 54 'yung rebounds nila, 32 lang ang sa amin. Paano kami mananalo. Hopefully, lesson learned. Ma-overcome namin 'yung disadvantage next game," said Macaraya.
Nevertheless, Macaraya acknowledged the Stags' gallant stand against the Red Lions, drawing positives from the defeat as they look to barge into the Final Four this season.
"Nandun na 'yung charcter ng mga bata. Maliliit kami pero kung may energy at effort kami, maganda ang pupuntahan namin," said Macaraya.