CHARLES Rhodes pinned the blame on himself after San Miguel dropped a heartbreaking 102-104 defeat to TNT in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 31-year old Rhodes came out of the gates firing, pouring in 21 points in the first quarter where the Beermen jumped to a 31-24 lead.
However, the outspoken reinforcement was held scoreless in the next two quarters and it wasn’t just a mere co-incidence that it was the time where the KaTropa started to turn the tide in their favor.
“I just got out of rhythm. Talk ‘N Text did a great job on me and I got to do better. I got to step up,” Rhodes who still finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds in series opener.
“I didn’t step up in the second and third quarters and I let my team down. I just got to do better next game cause I let my team down,” he added.
Rhodes, however, was quick to point out that foul trouble affected his play once again as he ended up getting yanked in and out of the game after that fiery first-quarter performance.
He wasn’t going to pin the blame on officiating, but Rhodes pleaded to officials to call the match a little more loose than they did in Game 1.
“You know I’m not gonna bash the referees but this is the finals. You got to let us play. You know, the fouls I got in the second and third quarter affected the game,” Rhodes said.
“It threw my rhythm off. Threw the team rhythm off and I couldn’t get no scoring. I had to come back, cold then hot, cold then hot and it just messed my rhythm up the whole game.”
Rhodes, who has yet to win against TNT in two triesin this midseason conference, has already set an ultimatum to himself come Game 2 on Friday.
“It’s the finals. I wouldn’t care who it is, it’s the finals. We must win next game. We must win.”