CALVIN Abueva just shrugged off Alaska’s heartbreaking loss to Rain Or Shine Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup, referring to the 98-95 setback simply as an ‘upset.’
“Wala kaming magagawa eh, ganun talaga. Silat. Di ba may sinasabing silat? Di natin maiiwasan yun,” said Abueva following the game.
“Pero andito pa naman kami. Babawi na lang sa next game.”
Abueva narrowly missed a double-double after finishing the match with 18 points and eight rebounds.
But he did admit occasional defensive lapses cost the Aces the sputtering endgame loss.
“Siguro sa akin, okay lang ginagawa ko, pero minsan nawawala kami as a group, yung box out at pag hustle,” he rued.
The Aces held a six-point lead entering the final three minutes of the match, before letting pressure get the better end of them and allowing Beau Belga to score on back-to-back drive to the baskets, followed by Paul Lee’s booming three-pointer.
Worse, Alaska failed to put a body on rookie guard Jericho Cruz, who scored on a putback off Jeff Chan’s missed free throw, before sealing Rain or Shine’s win with a breakaway layup in the end.
It was indeed, a sorry loss for Alaska, which appeared poise to secure one of the two top slots in the semifinals, especially after opening the season-opening conference with six straight victories.
But Alaska dropped a heartbreaking 101-92 decision to a rejuvenated Barangay Ginebra last Tuesday, before melting down in the end against Rain or Shine.
Alaska ended its elimination round campaign with an 8-3 record, and remains in the hunt for an outright semis berth following San Miguel’s loss to Talk `N Text also on Friday.