LOUIE Alas saw the sign as early as the first half.
“Nawalan na kami ng depensa. Alam ko na latter part ng second quarter. Nakikita ko na ang dami nang blow by. Ok lang na ma-blow by ka, pero at least merong humahabol. Pero kami nag stop na defensively,” he said at the end of Phoenix’s game against Columbian Dyip on Sunday night.
More or less, that was the story behind the Fuel Masters’ sorry 115-107 loss that dealt a big blow to their playoffs chances in he PBA Commissioner's Cup.
It was the third straight setback for Phoenix, which fell to 3-5 and out of the magic circle of eight that will make the playoffs. The road only gets tougher for the Fuel Masters as they face two teams above .500 in their last three outings.
“Rain or Shine and Alaska. Yung Globalport hindi mo rin puwedeng biruin,” said Alas on his team's last three opponents in the eliminations. “But we just have to move forward.”
The Fuel Masters need to move on from this stunning loss especially after controlling the game against Columbian in the first half, only to allow the opposition to take over in the last two quarters.
“Kung puwede nga lang na hanggang second quarter ang game, e,” Alas added.
The Phoenix coach doesn’t want to blame fatigue for the team’s meltdown, but knew the Fuel Masters had no more left in the tank after being dragged into overtime by Meralco just two nights ago in a 103-100 loss.
“Naubos na kami. Hindi na nga kami nag-practice kahapon, we just watched videos,” said Alas. “Ang huddle ko nga (at the half), na with fatigue, we can’t beat them in a shootout. We have to make some stops every time. And it didn’t happen.”
“Hindi na ako puwedeng magalit, naubos na ang galit ko.”