Did Ginebra coach Agustin let his guard down? Or did his guards let him down?
Ginebra coach Ato Agustin is a picture of disappointment during the game. Jerome Ascano

THE failure of Ginebra’s guard-heavy roster to do its part led to its 85-74 downfall against Meralco Tuesday night in the opener of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Returning coach Ato Agustin noted the Kings’ backcourt shot a miserable 9-of-41 from the floor, with starting playmaker LA Tenorio held to just 1-of-12 shooting from the floor.

“Sa practice, we did better. Ang galing galing talaga because we did a lot of things especially on defense. Pero di nag-work (in the game) kasi based sa stats, wala kaming nakuha sa mga guards,” rued Agustin, who made his coaching return after replacing Jeffrey Carisao late last month.

“Yung mga shot selections namin very bad talaga.”

The 51-year-old Agustin acknowledged that every member of the team wanted to play the up-tempo kind of game after trying out the triangle offense with little success in the last two conferences under Cariaso.

But he felt the effort to push the ball when the opportunity came along during the game wasn’t there.

“Actually, yun (running game) nga ang gusto ko, takbuhan. Pero after the game, sabi ko sa kanila, ‘'Gusto natin running team, pero di lang dapat sinasabi, kailangan gawin natin,'” he added, noting Ginebra only scored three points on fastbreaks.

[See Run and gone? Meralco deals Ginebra a beating in Agustin debut]

Agustin said it’s a blessing to get several days off for the team before it returns to action on Sunday against Barako Bull in Binan, Laguna.

But after the lackluster conference debut, Agustin said he intends to revisit Ginebra’s plays, and hopefully, pick up a valuable lesson from Meralco’s aggressive plays.

“Kulang pa sa aggressiveness yung game namin. And I was surprised na ganito performance namin kasi sa practice, nakikita ko naman na aggressive kami. In fact, kung ano ginagawa namin sa mga practices, we pressure and defend and execute, pero di namin nagawa ngayon,” he added.

Agustin also mentioned the team will try to capitalize on import Michael Dunigan’s size and familiarity with the league’s brand of play as the Kings try to regroup against the Energy.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava