ATO Agustin had one simple reason for Barangay Ginebra’s 97-104 quarterfinal loss to back-against-the-wall Alaska on Wednesday in their PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals match: the Kings were outhustled.
While the league’s crowd darling held a huge 16 advantage in fastbreak points and a 16-4 edge on second chance points Agustin felt his team failed to match the energy of the Aces who were trying to live for another day
“Na-outhustle kami and also, yung physicality of the game, na-agrabiyado kami dun,” Agustin said in explaining why Ginebra failed to finish off its no. 8 seed foe on Wednesday night.
Defensively, the Ginebra mentor said the Kings were a step slow, which explains why Alaska shooters such as Dondon Hontiveros, Cyrus Baguio, and quick-fire playmaker JV Casio combined for 10 of Alaska’s 12 three-point shots in the game.
“Maganda yung percentage nila (Aces) sa labas. Imagine, 60 percent sila sa three-point shots? Naka 12-out-of-20 sila. Eh masyadong na-frustrate saka nag-give up yung team so we need to do something,” explained the one-time PBA champion coach.
Agustin said the team’s 11-3 win-loss record at the end of the eliminations won’t mean anything if the Kings fail to come out with the energy and aggressiveness needed in a do-or-die match.
The Ginebra coach stressed the do-or-die match against Alaska set on Saturday at the Astrodome requires no X’s and O’s, and said it all boils down to which team is motivated to get to the semifinals.
“More on motivation na lang itong gagawin ko,” said Agustin.
“Hindi namin nakuha yung advantage namin especially on the big guys,” he added, referring to Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
Alaska showed it wanted the game more by diving for loose balls and going after rebounds.
Calvin Abueva, the former Rookie of the Year, proved to be the thorn on Ginebra’s side after finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“Sabi ko nga sa team eh, eight offensive rebounds ang nakuha ni Calvin, na mga 6-foot-2 lang. Kailangan talaga maging aggressive sa rebounds,” stressed Agustin.