HUBERT Cani says Far Eastern University repeated the mistake of taking its opponent lightly, which is why they could not keep pace with the UAAP Season 81 leaders.
Cani acknowledged the Tamaraws’ mistakes in what has been a roller-coaster campaign, winning games against the expected contenders in La Salle and UP but losing to UST and UE, leading to their 2-2 slate.
"Dalawang talo na yan eh. So tingin ko, mali talaga ang approach namin sa game. Kumbaga parang dinadaya namin eh at sa amin bumabalik yun," he said.
"Kapag malakas ang kalaban namin, doon kami babawi pero pag may teams na average lang, doon kami nag-step down at binibigyan namin ng kumpyansa yung ibang teams. Yun talaga ang pagkakamali namin."
FEU allowed UE to shoot 45-percent from the field and 37-percent from threes, and dish out 22 assists.
The Tamaraws also committed 17 turnovers which UE converted to 13 points.
"Same ito ng UST. Parang in-underestimate namin yung game kaya yung mga shots nila, kahit naka-challenge na o anong gawin namin, talagang shumu-shoot na kasi binigyan namin sila ng confidence," said Cani, who led his team in scoring with 12 points, while also grabbing three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
"Doon pa lang sa una, mali na kami. Mahirap i-turn around agad yun na puro mali kami nung una and then sa second half, babawi kami at gusto naming malamangan sila agad. Hindi namin kaya yung ganoon."
So bad was the Tamaraws' performance that coach Olsen Racela, who has always granted postgame interviews to the press, begged off from an interview and quickly left Mall of Asia Arena.
He also gave the Tamaraws the silent treatment, and the players stayed in the dugout for a good 30 minutes to discuss where it all went wrong.
"Parang gusto ni coach sabihin na kami pa lang, kaya na namin ayusin ito. Hindi na niya kailangang pagalitan kami. Sa amin pa lang, i-take na namin yung commitment namin sa team, as individual players kung ano yung mga pagkakamali namin," the playmaker said.
For Cani, the solution to all of these problems should start in practice.
The Tamaraws guard revealed two practice sessions prior to the UE match did not go well, and it contributed to the huge loss.
"Honestly bago itong UE game, we had two practices tapos sobrang pangit ng practice namin. Pangit talaga yung practice nung Friday at Saturday kaya siguro ganito ang nangyari sa amin. Nadala namin yun hanggang dito," he said as FEU was thoroughly dismantled by the upset-hungry UE crew.
"Pipilitin namin sa practices pa lang na mabago yung mga mali namin," he said as FEU makes a quick pivot to prepare for NU on Wednesday.
"Bukas may training kami eh, so tingin ko maganda ang kakalabasan ng training namin. Kasi kung hindi, parang di namin tine-take seriously yung UAAP ng team namin," Cani said confidently.
"Tingin ko sa bukas pa lang sa practice, mag-start na yun, magba-bounce back na kami."