KG Canaleta came a shot away from turning a so-so debut for Blackwater into a grand one as the ball swung back to him with about a second remaining in the game clock and his squad down by three.
Usually a deadshot from beyond the arc, Canaleta saw his shot go long at the buzzer as the Elite dropped a 92-89 loss to TNT Ka-Tropa on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 12-year veteran was a picture of disappointment as he walked out of the dugout and he didn't mince words when asked to assess his first game with Blackwater.
"Parang feeling ko, na-let down ko team namin. Parang wala rin yung pag gawa nila ng move," Canaleta, taken by Blackwater in a trade for James Forrester and Dylan Abalou, said.
"Ang maganda run, hindi ko narinig sa kanila (ng paninisi), in-encourage pa rin nila ako. Mararamdaman mo yung parang kumpyansa pa rin sila sakin. Mino-motivate parin nila ako na tira pa rin," he added.
Making his debut for his ninth team in the league, Canaleta struggled to find his range as he missed all but two of his 15 shots to finish with just six points in nearly 28 minutes of action.
Still, the former PBA Slam Dunk king was thankful that coach Leo Isaac still decided to put the ball in his hands down the stretch with the game on the line.
The final Blackwater play went awry, with all the Elite players finding no clear shot at a game-tying three before Canaleta heaved a desperation shot at the buzzer.
"Quick shot talaga e, nag-switch si Larry (Fonacier) at (Roger) Pogoy, di ko natira. So hinanap ko yung mga kakampi ko, may time pa naman e," Canaleta explained.
"Pero bumalik pa rin sakin, parang throughout the game struggle talaga sa tira. Parang di ko siya feel, ang hirap parang ambigat sa pakiramdam."
His struggles in this game, alongside his eagerness to prove that he still has it takes to win games at age 35, will be his main motivation heading into the next few games.
"Nangigil ako e. Sabi ko sa kanila bawi nalang next time. Medyo naninibago din ako. One day lang ako nag-ensayo sa kanila pero hindi ko ginagawang excuse," Canaleta continued.
"Kumbaga challenge din para sakin personally para ma-prove ko na kaya ko pa maglaro."