IT was another loss but one learning experience for Blackwater.
In the light of the Elite’s 104-94 loss to Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, coach Bong Ramos still consoled himself at seeing his team beginning to build a character.
“At least hindi yung umpisa pa lang umaayaw na. Hindi na ganun,” he said shortly after the Elite suffered their eighth loss in nine outings to formally bow out in the fight for a quarterfinals berth.
“Kung titingnan mo, meron sana kaming tsansa. Pero OK lang, part of building ng character yan, e.”
The Elite went toe-to-toe with the league-leading Elasto Painters for 40 minutes in a stretch that saw them even held a 77-66 lead late in the third quarter.
Rain or Shine however, caught fire midway through the fourth period behind the hot hands of guard Chris Tiu, whose three-pointer at the 7:43 mark allowed the Elasto Painters to retake the lead, 87-84.
By the time Tiu drained his fourth and final trey in the quarter, Rain or Shine already had the game under control, 101-89, on the way to clinching its seventh win with just a single loss.
“Yun ang pumatay sa amin, yung three-points ni Chris Tiu,” Ramos lamented.
Blackwater’s situation was compounded more by the limited playing minutes of import Henry Walker, who complained about a hurting shoulder prior to the game. The former NBA player was held to just tw points and three rebounds in just seven minutes of play.
“Sabi ko huwag na naming pilitin. Practice ko na lang yung All-Filipino (lineup) namin,” said Ramos.
For a while it worked wonders for the Elite, but too bad, they just couldn’t keep it up in the wake of a huge scoring run by Rain or Shine.
“Yung game plan naman naming ok naman, hindi lang talaga ma-sustain,” said the Blackwater coach.
The Elite will close out their elimination round campaign against Meralco and defending champion San Miguel.
“Tingnan natin. Sana lumaban pa rin kami,” he said. “Pag lumaban pa rin kami sa dalawang team nay un, kahit hindi kami manalo, that means we’re on the right track.”