Star coach admits Game 2 all boiled down to execution - or lack of it - in endgame
Paul Lee missed a one-handed jumper in the final seconds that could've given Star a 2-0 lead over San Miguel in their semifinal playoff. Jerome Ascano

THERE’S no reason for Star to sulk and be sorry after missing a great chance to go up 2-0 against fancied San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.

The Hotshots had the Beermen where they wanted them in the endgame Monday night, according to coach Chito Victolero.

It was just unfortunate the team failed to execute in its final offensive play, allowing San Miguel to escape with a 77-76 win in Game 2 of the best-of-five series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“It all boiled down sa execution pa rin sa huli, sa mental,” said Victolero, referring to the missed game-winner by Paul Lee at the buzzer.

“We have a chance, but hindi nabigay sa atin,” Victolero added. “They only tied the series (1-1). So it’s a best of three, let’s take a rest and prepare for tomorrow’s practice.”

[See SMB beats Star in grind-out, defensive battle to even series at 1-1]

Game Three is scheduled Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Despite the loss, Victolero still likes the chances of his team against the second-seeded Beermen, pointing out how the Hotshots battled their way back from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter, and even took a 62-58 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Star coach said that effort alone is one positive thing the Hotshots can carry with them to Game 3 onwards.

“I’m very happy with the defense, I’m very happy sa aggressiveness ng mga players ko, yung execution namin on both ends,” Victolero said.

Those factors, according to him, definitely boosted the Hotshots’ confidence, more so as they expect the rest of the series to be a grind-out affair.

“I’m still happy and proud doon sa pinakita ng mga players ko,” added the Star coach.”Maganda pa rin yung chances namin. I’m still confident and positive doon sa situation namin.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos