Art dela Cruz says young Blackwater needs to show more composure in endgame
"(Kulang sa) experience sa endgame situations," says Art dela Cruz when asked what went wrong for Blackwater in the overtime loss to Mahindra. Jaime Campos

BOCAUE, Bulacan - Art dela Cruz said Blackwater lost its "eagerness to win" in a 93-97 overtime loss to Mahindra on Sunday at the Philippine Arena here.

Dela Cruz said that was none more evident than in the fourth period where the Elite squandered a 15-point lead before completely succumbing to the Floodbuster in the extra period.

"Wala sa amin yung eagerness manalo," said Dela Cruz, whose team was riding the crest of a two-game winning streak before the disappointing loss.

"Sobrang sakit sa amin na panalo na, natalo pa."

[See Mahindra makes Christmas more special with OT win over Blackwater]

The Elite actually refused to fold in the homestretch, pulling to within two on Roi Sumang's back-to-back baskets.

But Alex Mallari and the Floodbuster held them off and went on to complete the come-from-behind victory, their first win in six games this conference.

"(Kulang sa) experience sa endgame situations, kailangan naming matutunan and having players na maraming rookies, ma-overcome din namin yung situations na yun," he said.

"Parang lahat ng tira namin pilit, hurried shots, napuputol yung plays."

This loss, dela Cruz, meant the Elite will have to win all their remaining games next year to make the Top Four heading to the playoffs.

"Every game counts simula sa January," he said. "Kahit malakas ang laban, sundin lang ang gameplan kasi di namin nasunod at nasira ang composure namin."

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