RENALDO Balkman couldn’t hide his disappointment with how the conclusion of Game Five panned out as San Miguel dropped the 87-83 decision to Ginebra on Sunday to be in a must-win situation in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The Puerto Rican reinforcement, who had a monster game in the defeat with 34 points and 20 rebounds, was shaking his head on “the wildest thing I've seen in my life” as the Beermen struggled to get any calls in the endgame, to no avail.
“You can see it’s evident on what just happened. You know what I mean? It's crazy. You have two offensive rebounds and still get called nothing? Last three minutes, gonna get no calls at all? Excuse my language, I'm really upset right now. I'm staying professional and I'm sorry,” he said.
Balkman was already in disbelief after he drove against Greg Slaughter, Justin Brownlee, and Joe Devance, getting smothered as he tried to get a shot off with no whistles being blown in the final minute.
But adding to his frustration was an out of bounds violation that he strongly believed should’ve been called Scottie Thompson in the final 53.8 seconds. Instead it was Arwind Santos who was called for a violatin.
Those two sequences, Balkman believes, changed the complexion of the game, leaving the Beermen staring at a 2-3 deficit in the series.
“We gotta win. We didn't lose that game, we did not lose that tonight. It wasn't on us tonight, that was definite. But, all I do to tell my guys man, keep their heads up, keep on fighting, you know? I'll fight my fall, pull myself up, and we're going to keep fighting, keep our head up. It ain't over yet,” he said.
Balkman, though, remained upbeat, looking forward to Game 6.
“It's not over yet. You can say whatever you want to say but it's not over yet, you know? We win as a team, we lose as a team, we're going to play the game. It's 3-2. We're in the finals, it's a championship game right now, and it's seven games for the championship. We have to go to a Game 7. It's a must-win for us on Wednesday.”
“They got to beat us one more time, then we'll call it quits. Lucky that we have one more chance at Game 7. I mean it's not over yet. I know there's a lot of you counting us out. I have to tell you right now, don't count us out at all. At all.”