LETRAN coach Louie Alas called it the worst game of the Knights in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball season.
Indeed, it was.
Statistics would bare Alas out as his team struggled from the field the entire 40 minutes of the Knights’ no-tomorrow championship showdown with the San Beda Red Lions Friday before a huge sea of red and blue at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Knights just couldn’t put the ball in the basket during the most important game of their lives, losing badly to the Red Lions, 67-39, in a deciding Game Three of the Finals that obviously failed to live up to its hype.
And just how bad did the Knights play?
They went 27 percent from the field overall on 17-of-64 shooting. The Knights went 17-of-46 (37 percent) from two-point range, and a stunning 0-of-18 from three-point zone.
“We played very, very poor basketball today. Sobrang sama ng laro namin,” were the first words uttered by Alas, the coach, on his way to the dugout.
He added, “pinaka-masamang laro namin sa series. It happens. `Yung pinaka-ayaw namin na mangyari, nangyari.”
Letran’s go-to-guy Kevin Alas finished with 12 points, but was 0-for-10 from three-point range almost two weeks after torching San Sebastian for 43 points – including 10 three-pointers – during the Final Four.
Point guard Mark Cruz led the team with 11 points but was 0-of-3 from downtown while Jonathan Belorio and Carlo Lituania, who played big in the Knights’ 64-55 win in Game Two, were both held scoreless on a 0-of-8 clip from the field.
“Since Game One naman may pressure na e,” admitted Kevin. “Hindi lang namin ma-shoot `yung dapat naming ma-shoot.”
In the end, the Letran coach took the blame for the Knights’ failure to stop the Red Lions from overtaking them as the league’s winningest team with 17championships overall.
“It’s all my fault, I told my players. Baka ako ang nagkulang sa preparasyon,” he said.
The elder Alas also expressed his gratitude for the Knights, saying “I love them.”
And for Letran? “I’m sorry (for the Letran community). We came up short,” said the coach.” But that’s basketball.”