ART dela Cruz lamented Blackwater’s failure to build on a good start in its 107-87 loss to Alaska on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Elite were undermanned without import Eric Dawson as well as local stars JP Erram, Mike Cortez, and Reil Cervantes, but raised the possibility of an upset as they led, 10-4, in the early goings of first period.
But the lead disappeared as quickly as they built it as Alaska took command with a five-point lead the end of the quarter and never looked back.
“Good start kami kasi wala kaming import,” Dela Cruz said. “Sinabi lang ni coach na if we can get kumpiyansa para sa game na to, and we're not satisfied even though na we're in last sa standing.”
“We're just thinking the positive way. We should stay together whatever happens,” added the rookie forward, who paced the Elite’s decent start by scoring 12 of his 23 points in the opening period.
But the absence of Dawson was too huge to compensate.
“Wala kaming import eh, yun naman talaga yung problema, kahit anong galing namin sa offense, ang kalaban namin magaling sa defensive side,” Dela Cruz said.
“Sobrang hirap kasi import eh, kahit na anong tulak ko sa ilalim, advantage talaga na mayroon ka sa loob eh,” Dela Cruz said. “Walang tutulong na kahit humelp sayo, kahit na tao ko yung import, may tutulong sayo sa gilid, na parang maghe-hesitate 'yung kalabang import para um-atake.”
“Malaking bagay talaga but we need to face the game,” he added. “Sabi ni coach kung sinong available sa amin laruin lang namin.”
And Dela Cruz has no choice but to remain positive for his team as it moved on the brink of elimination after losing its seventh game against one win.
“Every game, ‘di namin iniisip yung talo, we just need to play our game. kasi pag iniisip mo lalo kang madodown,” the former San Beda star said.