PHOENIX is currently on a free-fall in the stretch run of the PBA Philippine Cup, but the team isn't giving up.
Coach Louie Alas remained positive about his team’s shot at making the playoffs, although their hopes now hinge on winning a final game against Globalport on March 2.
“The last thing na gagawin natin is to give up,” Alas said during his post-game huddle following the Fuel Masters’ 83-78 loss to Blackwater on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Puwede pa kaming mag No. 8 kung mananalo kami sa Globalport. Pag natalo pa kami, eliminated na kami.”
Phoenix suffered its second loss in a week’s span and fell to a 4-6 record in a tie with TnT Katropa and Meralco for ninth place.
But Alas said a logjam for the remaining playoff berths is very much possible depending on the outcome of the final four playing dates of the eliminations.
And that includes the Fuel Masters winning over the Batang Pier.
“We’re still breathing,” he said.
To the Fuel Masters’ credit, Alas was happy with the effort they gave against the Elite.
He lamented though, the team gave up a lot of fouls against the opposition, 40 to 14. Blackwater converted 20 of them while Phoenix made just nine of its free throws.
“Biro mo 20 points tapos kami nine points lang sa free throws,” he said. “And we lost (only) by five.”
And then there’s the turnover, where the Fuel Masters committed a total of 24 compared to the 18 of the Elite.
“Sa ganito hindi ka mananalo sa PBA kapag ganito kadami ang turnovers mo,” said Alas.