LEON Rodgers is man enough to take the responsibility for the way Barangay Ginebra struggled to start the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Kings fell to a 2-3 (win-loss) record after a 94-87 loss to league-leader Talk `N Text in Sunday’s main game.
Rodgers, who’s reportedly on the way out until the coaching staff decided to stick with him, didn’t elaborate on what he specifically failed to do that contributed to Ginebra’s slow start in the game against the Tropang Texters and generally, in the mid-season conference.
“As one of the leaders of the team, I take some blame on that (loss to Talk ‘N Text),” Rodgers said after emerging from Ginebra’s dugout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-5 Rodgers said as a team, Ginebra needs to play with a greater sense of urgency given the short tournament format and the high quality teams the Kings are facing every game this conference.
“We just got to play with a lot of sense of urgency a little bit earlier in the game,” explained the former Northern Illinois standout.
“I think we‘re waiting too long to feel the pressure of the game.”
That was exactly the case against the Tropang Texters as Rodgers said the three-minute resurgence the team showed during the latter part of the fourth quarter was something he hopes to see in Ginebra’s future games in order to come out with the win.
The Kings, who appeared to be going through the motions for much of the second half, came alive behind back-to-back slamdunks by Greg Slaughter, triggering a 7-0 run that allowed them to close in at 81-87, with time down to two and a half minutes.
“Everybody can see when we play like that. I think that’s the Ginebra everybody wants to see but we gotta get more consistent,” he said.
However, Ginebra failed to sustain the run going to the homestretch, allowing Talk ‘N Text import Richard Howell to grab several offensive rebounds, before Larry Fonacier’s late-game three-point shot in front of the team’s bench all but sealed Ginebra’s third defeat in five games.
Rodgers, who finished the game with 32 points and 11 rebounds, said their next two days of practice will be critical as they map out their next move against Air21, which the team faces on Wednesday.