MICHAEL Dunigan said he never expected his second PBA tour of duty to end the way it did on Saturday night.
“It’s been a tough series, and a tough season. We didn’t expect things to happen the way they did,” the Ginebra import said after a heartbreaking 92-91 loss to Rain or Shine ended the eighth-seeded Kings' campaign in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Big Dome.
“Personally, I battled fatigue throughout the game, but it was no excuse,” he added.
Dunigan, who had an impressive stint with Air21 in his first tour of duty in Manila, concluded his stint with Ginebra by averaging 22.9 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this conference.
With Ginebra battling for dear life against the twice-to-beat Elasto Painters, Dunigan matched his PBA-low with 11 points while going 4-of-11 from the field and 3-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also missed three of four free throws in the fourth quarter.
Worse, he lost the ball to Jeff Chan in the dying moments with Ginebra trying to hold on to a one-point margin, allowing the Rain or Shine to score the marginal basket unmolested with 4.9 seconds left.
In the end, Dunigan rued the 30 turnovers Ginebra had in the game. He had five of them.
“Greg (Slaughter) held on for the big men, but then we had 30 turnovers for the team, which I think, is probably a career-high in turnovers I’ve ever seen for a team because no team can win turning theball over 30 times.”
Before leaving the Mall of Asia Arena, the former University of Oregon standout took the time to thank the legion of Ginebra fans, who he said encouraged him and showed their support through social media.
He also apologized for letting them down.
“I love the support and all the things they have written about me and told me to do. They are always there. But I also would like to apologize because it’s been a slow game for me, a rough start and I couldn’t get the game going,” said the 25-year-old.
Asked if he would wish to get another chance at playing for Ginebra next season for a shot at redemption, Dunigan didn’t give a direct answer.
“That’s a year from now so I got some time. I just have to work on my body, get ready for whatever is next,” he said. “I hate to end this way. I love playing for Ginebra. The fans are great.”