PRESSURE comes with coaching a team - especially if it happens to be Barangay Ginebra.
Straight to the point, coach Siot Tanquingcen acknowledged there is added pressure on his part with the way the Kings have been on a free fall in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Kings tumbled to their fourth straight loss on Sunday night, a 69-87 setback to streaking Alaska Aces. After winning their first two games of the season, the league’s most popular ballclub suddenly found itself in a tie with Barako Bull at 2-4 in the lower half of the standings.
Ginebra’s .333 winning percentage is certainly not the kind of number expected from a team that has gone on a massive rebuilding during the offseason which saw the Kings land star guard LA Tenorio, and highly-touted rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen.
And as the man who calls the shot for the Kings, the heat is naturally on Tanquingcen.
“Pressure is always gonna be there. Kasama naman sa trabaho `yun, e,” he said as he quietly emerged from the Ginebra dugout at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
A protégé of former San Miguel coach Ron Jacobs, Tanquingcen offered no excuses on the team’s 18-point blowout against Alaska.
“Talo, e. We played poorly,” he said without batting an eyelash.
In hindsight, the Kings struggled with their shots by going 22-of-61 from the field for a 36.1 percent clip compared to Alaska’s 47.8 percent (32-of-67).
Although the Kings pounded the Aces off the boards, 47-34, they were badly outplayed in the other departments.
Alaska had more assists, 16-13, held the edge in steals, 7-2, and committed less turnovers, 13-19. It also outscored Ginebra off turnover points, 25-7.
“Walang depensa,” said PBA board chairman Robert Non after briefly dropping by the Ginebra dugout shortly after the game.
For Tanquingcen, it’s even more.
“Defensively, we’re not as zing as we want to, and our situation was compounded even more as we don’t have rhythm right now on our offense,” he said.
Asked what he considers as the team’s main concern right now, Tanquingcen just casually said, “we’ll just have to keep on working hard.”
It was Alaska coach Luigi Trillo who provided words of encouragement for the struggling Kings.
“Ginebra is not at its best right now. Obviously, the chemistry is not there. They lost four in a row, but we know they are very much capable (of winning more),” he said.