LA SALLE coach Gee Abanilla blamed the Green Archers' end game collapse in the showdown with Ateneo on lack of maturity.
Down by just four, 60-64, with 2:20 minutes left to play in the regulation, the Taft-based dribblers committed turnovers that gave the Eagles the chance to pull away down the stretch and score a 61-71 win at the MOA Arena.
"It was heartbreaking," said Abanilla. "In the last 2:20 minutes we couldn't execute. We were making mistakes and that's what we have to work on especially in the end game."
"Our turnovers made Ateneo pull away. We actually gave the ball to them," he added.
The La Salle mentor also stressed that lack of maturity was also a factor in their defeat.
"Lumalaban kami but in the end game we lack the maturity," he said.
"Although our defensive game plan worked, we were not able to stop their easy points."
Abanilla said that they're a work in progress.
"We're slowly learning and I hope makuha nila agad yun. But the positive side is that maganda ang come back namin. We showed character."
Up next for the Archers are the University of Santo Tomas Tigers on Saturday, and Abanilla vows to come back strong.
"Nanghihinayang (ako) pero, we have to understand that we have the chance to improve. After all it's not how you start, it's how you finish," he added.
La Salle fell to the fourth spot at 2-2 in a tie with National U.