HE had an inkling GlobalPort would win against top seed Alaska earlier, yet Marc Pingris could not prevent his Star Hotshots team from having a sluggish start in their own game against Blackwater, before prevailing, 87-82, in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Batang Pier nipped the Aces in overtime, 117-104, to claim the last quarterfinal spot that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round.
But the result hardly surprised Pingris.
“Sa akin, alam ko matatalo sila. Basta para sa akin ‘yun,” the Hotshots forward said with a smile without elaborating. “Nung pagkapasok pa lang kanina, matatalo Alaska dyan kahit lamang sila kanina.”
After all, the Aces played all-Filipino from the start of the second half until the final buzzer with import Romeo Travis and local stars Calvin Abueva riding the bench due to minor injuries.
“Naghahanap nga ako ng kapustahan eh pero ayaw nila,” Pingris added. “Tama nga yung hinala ko: talo sila.”
Still, they were hoping the Aces would win for the Hotshots to have a shot at the win-once incentive in the quarterfinals.
But the Aces’ loss’ denied them of the privilege.
“Wala kaming energy nung simula dahil nanghinayang kami sa (resulta ng) first game,” Pingris admitted. “Gusto namin tapusin agad yung laro.”
Hotshots coach Tim Cone echoed his sentiment.
“After Globalport won, I just think we kind of lost our energy a little bit and started the game really poorly,” the multi-titled American mentor said. “We started out flat.”
Pingris and the rest of the Hotshots had to earn the win the hard way.
“’Di ganun kadali kalaban ang Blackwater,” said the veteran forward, who finished with just four points and three boards in 27 minutes. “Para lang din na lumaki yung ulo namin kanina at nagising na lang kami nung second half.”
“Sana maging lesson sa amin kasi every game, kailangan namin manalo, kailangan na ilabas lahat.”