Coach Ariel Vanguardia disappointed but not distraught after Phoenix's huge loss
Coach Ariel Vanguardia and the Fueld Masters have over a week to prepare for the next game. Jaime Campos

PHOENIX coach Ariel Vanguardia is focusing on the positives after the Fuel Masters' huge loss to Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night in a game where they wasted a 17-point third quarter lead.

“It's very disappointing, but you know the only consolation was we didn't get blown out,” Vanguardia said. “But still we were up (comfortably), so we got to find a way to win games like this.”

“And you have to credit Rain or Shine, they are a championship-caliber team,” he added. "They know how to win in those situations and weren't able to protect our lead and there were a lot of crucial turnovers that we had in the endgame that cost us the game.”

[See Jeff Chan explosion stuns Phoenix as Rain or Shine snaps skid in fight-marred endgame]

Vanguardia credited the Elasto Painters’ defense for rattling his wards.

“They forced us to turnovers,” Vanguardia said. “Matt's (Wright) turnovers were crucial. Still if we didn't give up that penetration (to Jeff Chan) in the endgame we could have preserved the victory.”

Vanguardia, though, noted the Fuel Masters managed to limit the E-Painters to just one triple in the first half before that disappointing meltdown.

“Games like this, hopefully it’s an opportunity for us to bond more instead of ... it’s either a curse or an opportunity,” Vanguardia said. “I see us like bonding more after this, learning from whatever mistakes and as I've said the positive thing is that we didn't get blown out but we gotta find a way to close out games.”

Phoenix takes on Alaska next Friday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos