TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela stressed his team needs to roll with the punches after succumbing to emotions in their 102-88 loss to San Miguel Beer in Game Two of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The Texters went on a 17-0 run – the biggest unanswered run to start a game in playoff history – but lost steam in the second quarter where the Beermen outscored them, 28-11, to turn the game around on the way to tying the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
“I think we lost our focus and composure especially in the second quarter,” Racela said. “Well this is the PBA, the team that loses composure normally is the team that loses. You have to learn how to take the punches.”
The gap swelled when Roger Pogoy was ejected after committing a flagrant foul 2 following an apparent low blow on Arwind Santos early in the third quarter.
Racela admitted their emotions got the better of them due to what he simply he called “things.”
“It’s just like when we played Ginebra in the semis when we were up two-zero and then we lost the third game,” he added, referring to their 125-101 loss to the Gin Kings in their semifinal series. “We lost that game because we lost focus and composure because of, I don’t know what it was, but we lost because of that.”
“So it’s the same thing today,” he added. “I think we need to control our emotions more because things will not change.”
Asked if the SMB defense on TNT import Joshua Smith, who was held to 11 points on eight attempts and six boards, and committed five turnovers in 18 minutes, was a factor in the loss, Racela refused to pin the blame on it.
“More than the defense of San Miguel, I know they have a scheme against Joshua, but more than the scheme of San Miguel, it was... well the problem really was how we reacted to all the other things,” Racela said.
“We did not lose because of the import,” he added. “We lost because of another thing.”