FRUSTRATED and embarrassed, team owner Mikee Romero was man enough to admit Globalport's lack of playoff experience showed in the PBA Governors Cup loss to Star on Friday.
The Batang Pier suffered the worst playoff loss in league history following a 126-73 rout at the hands of defending champion Star at the Mall of Asia Arena that set up a do-or-die game on Sunday.
Romero groped for words in the aftermath of the Batang Pier’s 53-point blowout loss.
“I am disappointed but I understand what my team is going through,” said Romero, who conceded his young ballclub is not used to the pressure in the quarterfinals.
“Para kasing baptism of fire. Wake-up call din sa amin. It’s a very unfamiliar territory sa team namin to be No. 4 and it showed today,” added the billionaire sportsman/businessman.
“Tama sila, tama 'yung ibang teams, we are very inexperienced in this situation,” he said.
Still, there remains one more game left on Sunday as the Batang Pier and Hotshots tangle one last time for a berth in the semifinals.
And Romero has strong faith in his team it will play a lot different than it did the last time.
“Now, that’s over. Sabi ko sa kanila, Sunday is a different game. Walang carry over sa basketball. Marami na kong nakikita na natambakan sila, tapos sa next game maayos ang laro,” he said.
“I am challenging the players na lumaban. Kasi parang hindi kami lumaban today. And the coaches din, they have to prepare the team.
“Hindi birong kalabanin ang Purefoods. Of all the teams, Purefoods ang kinatatakutan ko,” said Romero.
Asked what he told the team during the Batang Pier’s 40-minute closed-door meeting inside the dugout, Romero said he didn’t give them any tongue-lashing.
“Hindi naman (pinagalitan). Talagang off eh. Pasok na lumalabas pa. Talagang malas eh,” he said.
Was he frustrated?
“Hindi. Tingin ko lang kulang sa preparation at saka yung mga young players ko, Terrence (Romeo), Stanley (Pringle) and the rest, nabigla. Pinakita ng Purefoods how powerful and how experienced they are,” he said.
But before leaving the Big Dome, Romero made one bold assurance to Spin.ph
“I assure you hindi na kami ganito maglaro. Game Two will be very different,” he said.
“They have to act as a team. When I read the statistics, eight assists lang kami. So they have to act as a team,” added the Sultan 900 Incorporated big boss.
“Lalaban ang Global. Hindi na ganito sa Sunday.”