JOSE Rizal University coach Vergel Meneses rued his team’s decision making in the 49-57 loss to San Beda in the opening game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Heavy Bombers committed 19 turnovers, actually just three less than the Red Lions but enough to squander their early gains.
“We performed against San Beda. Hindi lang kami maka-execute ng plays namin. We were in a hurry, we cannot get an open shot,” Meneses said. “So yung mga little things, we have to correct them.”
But the fiery mentor saw some positives in the loss, where they stayed toe to toe for the most part of the game.
“Eight lang lamang. It’s a good sign for us.”
With five rookies and only one player with more than three years of NCAA experience, the result was not surprising.
“Ilan lang yung veterans na natira sa amin, so understandable naman, tapos first game pa against the defending champions,” Meneses said.
The Bombers were supposed to have another veteran in tow in Jordan de la Paz, but the dependable forward was scratched off the lineup due to academic deficiencies.
“Big loss for me,” Meneses admitted. “Siguro if Jordan were been here, baka iba ang nangyari.”
Without him, the Bombers succumbed to the Lions’ vaunted defense.
So suffocating was the Lions’ defense that only Philip Paniamogan reached double figures in scoring with 12 points, although the streaky shooting guard had to attempt 15 shots to get to his total.