KIA coach Ricky Dandan refused to make his team’s depleted frontline an excuse in their 105-76 loss to Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
Already without injured big men Jay-R Reyes (ankle) and Jackson Corpuz (wrist), not to mention Russel Escoto (knee), the Picanto were also left without Eric Camson as the rising star served a one-game suspension for figuring in a fight with Raymond Almazan in their game against Rain or Shine last week.
That left the Picanto with a shallow frontcourt of reed-thin Mark Yee, rookie Jon Gabriel, and seldom-used Prince Caperal that the Bolts pounced on.
“I reminded them before we played the game to guard against slippage, we will not make any excuses,” Dandan said. “Of course we needed them (big men), but then, this is the card we were dealt.”
“And I felt we were ready to play without them, but we were unable to hold on, and it's a blowout again,” he added.
The Picanto, who grabbed 47 rebounds, seven less than the Bolts’ haul, fell into an early hole that they never got out of as they failed to sustain their gains from a 98-94 win over ROS last week that snapped a 16-game losing streak, the worst in the league over the last decade.
“It's back to the salt mine for us,” Dandan said ahead of their next game against TNT. “We will take a break tomorrow then look at film, to see what happened.”
“We consider all the teams we face top tier, so mostly the personnel that we're up against, that's what we prepare for, we have a week to prepare against TNT, we'll see,” he added.