RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia was torn between trying to discipline Maverick Ahanmisi and wanting to rely on his prized playmaker, who was benched in the team’s 118-82 loss to Star in Game One of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal matchup on Monday night.
Garcia said Ahanmisi informed him through a text message after practice on Sunday that he had a bum stomach and couldn’t join their training.
However, Ahanmisi's message reached the RoS coach after the practice had already ended.
That prompted Garcia to leave the sophomore point guard on the bench owing to a team rule, although he still felt Ahanmisi could’ve made a difference after getting little production from the rest of his playmakers.
“If Maverick was here, he could’ve helped us more in our guard rotation,” Garcia said. “But I told him that since he didn’t practice yesterday, I didn’t want to gamble using him.”
“Masama daw ang tiyan niya, pero it’s still not an excuse for him to be absent today,” he added.
A member of last season’s All-Rookie team, Ahanmisi is on a bit of a sophomore slump, averaging just 5.7 points on 40.7-percent shooting, 0.6 triples, 2.9 boards, 1.7 assists in 20 minutes this conference.
Garcia said Ahanmisi has a chance to bounce back in Game Two on Wednesday when the E-Painters try to knot the series and force a deciding game, although he refused to pin the blame on him.
“I think it’s more of people have to step up,” Garcia said.
"It wasn’t really our game today and we won’t blame anybody for it," he added.
Ahanmisi, wearing headphones, declined to grant an interview after being one of the first players to emerge from the Rain or Shine dugout.