ASI Taulava and Kevin Alas were humble to enough to take the blame for NLEX’s late blunder in their 97-95 loss to Star on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup.
With the Road Warriors down by just one with nine seconds left, Taulava grabbed a rebound off a James Yap missed charity, but failed to immediately call a timeout for a potential game-winning play as he made the pass to Alas.
“It’s my fault,” Taulava said. “I was too excited and forgot that we were supposed to call a timeout. I take responsibility for that.
“I also missed a couple of easy shots. I missed my free throws, so all that heavy fault is on me,” the ageless slotman added.
But Alas insisted it was his fault as the sophomore playmaker also uncharacteristically didn’t sue of time, instead dribbling to half-court where he committed a turnover.
“Syempre sa court, point guard yung coach dyan eh. So talagang kung may (sisisihin), point guard yun at nasa akin yung bola,” a teary-eyed Alas said as he emerged from the dugout.
“(It was a) stupid and selfish play,” he added “Talagang nahiya ako sa mga kasama ko, kasi kung baga I wasted the team’s effort kasi ang layo ng hinabol namin.”
Alas felt he had a chance to sneak in a fastbreak attempt as he saw the Hotshots’ defense napping.
“Kasi nakita ko yung defense na medyo naka-relax,” the Letran product said. “Pero I know mali yung decision making ko dun.”
The costly miscue dampened what had been a splendid showing from both Taulava (18 points, 20 boards, four assists, one steal in 35 minutes) and Alas (10 points, six boards, four assists in 33 minutes).
Hotshots coach Jason Webb admitted the play could’ve also benefited the Road Warriors had they been successful.
“It could’ve gone either way.”