BARAKO Bull rammed into a brick wall as it absorbed an 80-91 loss to Hoops-Lebanon in the semifinals and ended its title hopes in the 2nd Al Shabab Basketball Championship Friday night in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Energy Cola entered the semifinals on a four-game winning streak behind an average winning margin of 16.5 points.
But against the Lebanese club team, they ran into serious trouble especially Barako Bull’s big men, according to assistant coach Charles Tiu.
“Lost in our semifinals game tonight (Friday) to a Lebanese team. Their 2 imports were great. One was x-nba. Calls didn't go our way too,” said Tiu in his Twitter account @charlestiu.
Tiu, one of the trusted deputies of Barako Bull coach Rajko Toroman, said foul trouble among the team’s big men and some questionable calls contributed to the Energy Cola’s sputtering end.
“Our bigs all had foul trouble. And they wouldn't call 3 seconds but no excuse. They played great we didn't. Life goes on. Just need to continue to improve as a team.” he said.
“Long way to go. Sorry to disappoint our fans here. Will bounce back tomorrow (Saturday) at 5pm (Dubai time) and get third place!” he added.
Parading NBA D-League veteran Michael Singletary, Barako Bull opened its tournament campaign with four straight victories, beginning with its 80-72 triumph over Egypt’s Zamalek, followed by an 80-75 win against Al ahli of Libya.
The Energy Cola continued their streak by demolishing US-based Team Unity, 94-63 before adding University of Sharjah (UOS) to their growing list of victims, 99-77.
Barako Bull will now face the loser of the Al Sahel-Al Shabab semifinal match in the battle for third place.