ANTIPOLO - Mike DiGregorio expected Phoenix Pulse to clamp down on him after his 27-point explosion against Rain or Shine on Wednesday.
He was right.
The Fil-Italian guard was held to just five points on an atrocious 1-of-10 clip and missed all of his attempts from rainbow country in a 114-95 loss to Phoenix in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup tha brought Blackwater back to earth.
"A learning experience, for sure," DiGregorio said. "It was a quick turnaround for us being the second game on Wednesday night and coming as the first game on Friday. No excuses, we have to be ready for that. We got off to a flat start and the lead kind of snowballed from there and they took advantage."
Phoenix wasted no time taking control of the game, jumping off to a 31-9 start and even held a 37-point advantage, 85-48 in the third quarter.
But Blackwater wasn't going down without a fight, slowly chipping away at the lead to get as close as 17, 101-84 with 4:20 to play.
The fightback may have come too little too late, but DiGregorio looked at the fight as a positive sign that this Blackwater side just won't roll over and die, regardless the situation.
"Just that showing character and playing the lead down. I don't even know what the lead was, from 30-something to just being 17 at one point. I mean obviously coach was upset with the effort that we had, but all you can do from these games is learn from it, watch film and see what you can do better," he said.
DiGregorio also vowed to be better, with Blackwater bracing for a match against defending champion San Miguel on Wednesday.
He also isn't losing confidence in his shot.
"I never lose confidence in myself," he admitted. "There were a lot of shots that I shot that rolled in and out and hung on the ring a little bit and then fell out. I think every shot I take is going to go in so it's not going to derail me from the confidence I have and the work I put it. If I miss five, six, or seven in a row, I think the eighth and ninth are going in. It's not going to stop me."
Blackwater may be struggling at 1-3, but DiGregorio isn't panicking. Neither is he losing faith in his young team.
"It is what it is. You can't change the past. We have been 0-3 before and made the playoffs," he said.
"It's a long conference. My confidence with my shooting, it doesn't waver. You can't get too high or too low," he continued. "Wednesday's game was an extreme high, and this one's an extreme low. We're just staying level-headed and we'll just watch the film and see what we can correct before getting back to work."