SAN Sebastian head coach Topex Robinson took the blame for their 97-102 loss to Mapua on Monday in a double-overtime thriller where the Stags blew a 20-point lead in the second half.
Leading 57-37 near the halfway point of the third quarter, the Stags allowed the Cardinals to go on a run and tie the game after a Jesse Saitanan undergoal stab at the 9:21 mark of the final canto.
During that crucial stretch, the 33-year-old San Sebastian mentor never bothered to call a time out to stop the Cardinals' momentum and to create a play for his team.
"It's my mistake," he said. "I made bad decisions down the stretch so I take the blame."
In all, the Stags allowed the Cardinals to score 65 points in the final 25 minutes of the match that, counting the two extra periods, took almost three hours to finish.
Robinson explained that he thought against calling a timeout since he wanted to teach his players one very important lesson - to think clearly and not be too dependent on the coach during crucial games.
"I want them to grow," Robinson said. "It's one thing that we coaches gamble on. I know I should've called a timeout, it's just that I want them not to be dependent on me.
"I have to accept the fact that they (Mapua) played better," added Robinson. "It's a lesson for us that it's not over until it's over."