TNT Katropa coach Jong Uichico implied he waved the white flag early in his team’s 106-91 loss to Meralco in Game Two of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Thursday night.
With the Texters down by 22 points, Uichico took Jayson Castro out at the five-minute, 11-second mark of the third quarter, never to return again as the TNT superstar saw his team try to rally from the bench.
“That's coaches' decision because the game (had) already too big (of a margin),” Uichico said. “If we have cut the lead down a little earlier, then I could have brought him back.”
But the Texters managed to come as close as 14 points after Kelly Williams finished an alley-oop play with a little over four minutes left.
That, however, didn’t prompt Uichico to field back Castro, who still finished with a team-leading 24 points and four assists in 28 minutes.
The Texters’ could’ve avoided a blowout had they put up a better start as they fell behind by 14 points after the first quarter.
“We started flat and we knew naman that Meralco will come out with a lot of energy, we didn’t come out with a lot of energy,” Uichico said. “We shouldn’t have played catch-up the whole game.”
“We really (need to) play some defense, match (their) energy, match (their) intensity,” he added.