LENGTH and talent can make you the top team during the elimination round. But experience, desire, and consistency are factors needed to reach the Finals.
That’s exactly what Barangay Ginebra learned on Wednesday night when the top seed was eliminated from the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals following its 87-110 loss to San Mig Coffee in Game Seven of their series before a crowd of more than 24,000 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Star point guard LA Tenorio felt the Kings’ inconsistency and lack of aggressiveness were key factors in the series, especially in the do-or-die encounter where they fell into a huge hole early on - no thanks to the Mixers’ torrid shooting - and never recovered.
“We lacked aggressiveness. We lacked consistency, on defense most especially. We need to work on that day in and day out. We cannot afford to relax,” said Tenorio.
“Pag dating kasi ng playoffs, it’s not about X’s and O’s anymore. It’s about heart and who wants it more. And they wanted it more. Kita naman natin, (Marc) Pingris was everywhere, Rafi Reavis, too. James (Yap), it was his best game of the conference.”
Tenorio, who scored 16 points but missed all but two of his 12 three-point attempts, felt Ginebra was a team equipped to reach the Finals, but it was a team that was just inexperienced to make it far.
“We’re supposed to be in the Finals, but ganun talaga eh. Nakaka-disappoint pero ito yung mga time na bumalik sa tamang ginawa namin nung elimination and learn from it, come back stronger next conference.”
And it’s all about consistency for the Kings, who topped the elimination round but failed live up to their potential in the playoffs.
“We know how to win games. We know the winning formula. We just have to be consistent,” Tenorio said. “We just need games like that and experience this kind of loss para pag makarating uli kami dito, alam na namin ang feeling.”