MAPUA coach Atoy Co knelt on his knees in one stretch of the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ game against College of St. Benilde on Friday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Co wasn’t praying to the basketball Gods, but was lamenting Mapua power forward Jeson Cantos’ second straight miss from point-blank range which could’ve have changed the complexion of the game.
“Paanong ‘di mapapaluhod eh tutok na sa basket, hindi pa ma-shoot eh,” Co, one of the finest shooters in the history of Philippine basketball, said after the Cardinals lost the game, 72-79.
Except for that, the Mapua coach found a lot of positives as his last-placed team went down fighting for the third straight game.
“Happy na ako pag ganung lumalaban ang team,” Co said. “Konti na lang.”
The Cardinals remained the only winless team in the league with a sixth successive loss, but the cage great can see progress.
“Yung mga team ang laki ng kumpiyansa pag kami kalaban. Pero ngayon nakikita nila na medyo lumalaban na kami, medyo magbabago rin kulay nila.
“This team will improve through time.”