PRESSING the panic button is not in Ryan Gregorio’s agenda now even after seeing his Meralco team squandered a 20-point lead and lost a tough 79-91 decision against Globalport on Wednesday in the PBA Governors Cup.
The Meralco coach said he felt import Mario West getting into foul trouble in the second half threw both his team’s offense and defense out of rhythm since the Georgia Tech product has been the Bolts’ heart and soul on both ends of the floor.
“We were caught off rhythm when Rio (West’s monicker) got into foul trouble. We couldn’t make stops and couldn’t manufacture our points,” Gregorio told Spin.ph after the game.
“But there’s no reason to panic. Of course, it’s a painful loss because we were in hot streak but we let it go somehow. However, we have time to recover so we just need to shake it (the loss) off,” he added.
The 29-year-old West had 16 markers in the first half and help the Bolts take a 44-28 bubble at the break.
Things changed however, when West picked his fourth and fifth personal fouls, respectively, in the third period, at the same time when Globalport gunner Gary David began to wax hot from the outside and Sol Mercado suddenly emerging from his first half slumber.
“We couldn’t stop (Globalport import) Markeith Cummings. While Gary David, expected na eh because I told my players don’t be deceived with their 2-4 mark (before the win),” explained Gregorio.
“True enough, they were able to launch that comeback.”
The Bolts (4-2) seemed unbeatable the last three games after claiming the scalps of three legitimate title contenders in Talk ‘N Text (92-86), Alaska (84-74), and Rain or Shine (82-76).
But Meralco self-destructed in the second half after being held to just 35 points after halftime, while giving up 63 points to Globalport.
Meralco dropped to a four-way tie at 4-3 with idle Rain or Shine, Barako Bull, and San Mig with just less than two weeks before the close of the single-round elimination.