NEWLY-acquired guard Solomon Mercado admitted blowing a 10-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation in Globalport’s stunning 88-98 loss to Barako Bull Sunday night was, indeed, a humbling experience for him and the rest of the team.
Mercado finished the game with 19 points and a career-high 16 assists, but just couldn’t save the day for Globalport, which found no answer against the 11 three-point shots made by Barako Bull in the second half.
“Coach got pissed (after the game),” Mercado revealed to Spin.ph after emerging from the gloomy Batang Pier dugout.
“It’s a humbling loss for us, but a good loss too, because we definitely need to learn from it. We’ve got to learn to close out games because that’s what separates champion teams from mediocre teams,” added Mercado, traded to Globalport by former team Meralco just two weeks before the start of the second conference.
The 28-year-old Mercado said on the positive side, splitting their first two games in three days is a good sign nonetheless for the team, which he said, still struggles as far as chemistry issues are concerned.
“I just practiced with the team three days (before Globalport’s first game) and Japeth (Aguilar) about five days. It would have been a good weekend for us,” explained Mercado as Globalport now sports an even 1-1 card.
Globalport’s new-look roster pulled the rug from under tournament favorite Petron during the Commissioner’s Cup’s kick-off game Friday, 94-92 as Aguilar exploded for 16 points, nine rebounds, and four block shots in his debut game for the Batang Pier.
Mercado added 17 and 11 assists for his new team, which missed import Justin Williams nearly the entire second half after being ejected for a flagrant foul two he committed for elbowing Petron rookie center June Mar Fajardo.