BARAKO Bull import Joshua Dollard got a dose of his own medicine from Alaska that resulted in his second-lowest scoring output and a 71-78 loss to the Aces in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
While expecting the physicality, the American reinforcement still could not help but get frustrated by the defending champions’ defense that limited to him to just 26 points (7-of-19 shooting), only the second time he failed to breach the 30-point barrier in the league game.
The Energy thus absorbed a fifth loss in seven games.
"A lot of teams they know I'm a physical player and the opposing team tonight gave me the best defense," said Dollard, who came in averaging 35.3 points. "Two or three guys will be guarding me, be very physical with me, pushing, grabbing, whatever that can to take advantage of me, so i just really got to play to it."
Still, he felt some calls weren’t going his way.
"Sometimes it’s really frustrating, sometimes you deserved the call but sometimes you got to still play basketball," said the 28-year-old cager, who hauled down 16 rebounds.
The import, however, did not let his guard down against the pesky Alaska defenders no matter how annoying they were.
"No, they didn't get in my head, (but) I'm human, we all have emotions and it's all part of the game,” he said. “Sometimes you get fired up, sometimes you get mad, but you can't let your focus down. You have to play 'till the end."
But Dollard was the first to admit that Alaska was indeed the better team in their encounter, where the Energy Cola committed 18 miscues that led to 17 turnover points by the Aces.
“Those guys tonight they really wanted to win," he said of the Aces, who stretched their winning streak to three games. "We can definitely learn from the other team tonight.”
And with a nine-day layoff before facing Meralco, Dollard hopes the ninth-running Energy Cola would play with a sense of energy to get into a better position in the playoffs.
“The break is huge, but no day off is really a day off. You have to stay in shape and you got to understand that you got a job to do and for us to win the next game.”