MORE than the absence of big man Raymund Almazan and the lackluster debut of import Terrence Watson in a Rain or Shine uniform, the failure of other players to step up was blamed for the Elasto Painters’ third successive loss.
RoS Coach Caloy Garcia lamented not getting enough from his shock troopers after the Elasto Painters were ambushed by the Alaska Aces, 106-89, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.
The team was forced to play minus Almazan and, worse, hardly got solid contributions from Watson, who took over the job left behind by JNathan Bullock.
But Garcia won’t put much of the blame on the two players, but more on those who he expected to deliver especially at crunch time but didn't.
“I told the players na nagtitiwala ako sa mga players na ginagamit ko, pero ang problema hindi ako sinusuklian ng maayos,” said Garcia after the game. “We were doing something consistent for three quarters and then pagdating ng fourth, nawala.”
Almazan, according to Garcia, was already on his way to the Big Dome when an emergency came up that needed him to return home.
“Until now I haven’t talked to him so we don’t know what happened,” he said of the lanky veteran center.
As for Watson, Garcia suspected a case of food poisoning as the import kept on vomiting.
He finished with just 10 points and 11 rebounds before being taken out for good midway through the final quarter and the Aces already in control after playing catch-up for the entire three quarters.
“After the first quarter, every time na sina-sub namin, sumusuka. So we didn’t want any more to gamble on it,” said Garcia.
Watson, who previously played for San Miguel in this same tournament last season, arrived in the country on Monday and actually did good in practice.
“He actually played good in practice, so we really thought we’re going to come out with a win today,” Garcia stressed.
In the end, it all boiled down to the next man stepping up for the Elasto Painters.
“We don’t to use it as an excuse kasi may mga players ka naman talaga na puwedeng maglaro. So it’s just up to us stepping up,” added Garcia.
“May tiwala naman ako sa mga players namin with or without these players. We have to find ways to win. Ano naman ito mga PBA players so they have to be ready to play.”