MENTAL lapses in the endgame did Rain or Shine in as the team was swept by Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals, 2-0, on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A number of turnovers in the stretch run hurt the Elasto Painters’ chances to forge a winner-take-all encounter after absorbing a 99-91 loss in Game Two of the series.
It was the third straight loss of Rain or Shine to the same team in a week’s span, counting a 100-92 setback in triple overtime to the Kings at the end of the eliminations.
“I think at the end we had a chance to win the game, but mga mental lapses (cost us the game),” said coach Caloy Garcia.
The injury to Chris Tiu also forced Garcia to rely on young guards Ed Daquioag and rookie Rey Nambatac during the crucial stretch - a move that backfired for the Elasto Painters.
“Actually hindi na ako naniniwala sa mga rookie mistakes, but I told them they will learn from it, especially in terms of executing in the end,” said the Rain or Shine coach.
“Ang mga talo (pa) naman namin sa Ginebra puro endgame.”
Daquioag finished with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting, while Nambatac had eight.
“Without Chris I told them na I need them this game and they were able to perform naman,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
“Kaso yun nga mga mental lapses na unforced turnovers. Wala namang pressure nagte-turn over sila. There were times that they’ve been erratic.”
But Garcia said the experience of the playoffs will benefit both Daquioag and Nambatac in the long run and the Elasto Painters in general.
“After this conference, hopefully, they would be able to play better,” he added.