PJ Simon can’t help but be frustrated that Star is now in unfamiliar territory in the PBA Governors’ Cup after falling to Ginebra in a thrilling match on Sunday night.
The Hotshots, two years removed from their Grand Slam conquest, reeled to their fourth straight defeat – and sixth overall in seven games – to get stuck in second to the last in the 12-team standings, in danger of missing out the playoffs.
“’Di naman mawawala yun (frustration) kasi sanay tayo na nasa gitna o nasa top,” Simon admitted after the game.
“Pero habang ‘di pa naman tapos, wala namang gi-give up,” he was quick to add. “Kita naman na walang bumibitaw hanggang dulo. Looking forward kami na makakuha kami ng streak bago matapos yung conference na ito.”
The Hotshots built an early 17-point lead, but saw the Gin Kings make a familiar comeback to turn the game around and add to their misery.
“Obviously, napakaganda ng defense namin ng first half, pero nung second half, medyo nag-let down kami ng konti sa defense,” Simon said. “Doon talaga kami nakakakuha ng momentum eh.”
Simon, who led the Hotshots in trying to regain the lead by scoring 14 of his 22 points in the final frame to end up as the team’s top local scorer, conceded that the Gin Kings’ horde of fans that trooped the Big Dome again spelled a difference to the turnaround.
“Yun talaga ang sixth man nila,” the veteran shooting guard said. “Ever since nandito pa si coach Tim (Cone), napapansin nya rin na sobrang laking tulong ng crowd.
"The best way na i-tame yung crowd is wag sila palamangin at bigyan ng magagandang plays dahil nabu-boost yung players nila.”