Aljun Melecio rues poor communication in La Salle loss as breakout game goes for naught
Aljun Melecio broke out of a long slump but saw his efforts wasted in the finals opener loss of La Salle. Jerome Ascano

ALJUN Melecio believes that communication will be key if La Salle wants to keep its title defense bid alive.

The Green Archers fell prey to the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 76-70, despite Melecio finally breaking out from a long slump in Game One of the UAAP Season 80 Finals on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Last season’s Rookie of the Year finished with 24 points, anchored on five threes, as he displayed the same form that he was on before getting afflicted with dengue fever in the first round.

For the sophomore guard, the lack of communication led to their downfall. 

"Siguro, yung communications between coaches and players. Marami kaming instances na hindi nagkaintindihan, so iyon lang naman," said Melecio.

"Wala kaming masyadong communication and yung Ateneo, maganda yung defense and 
execution nila," he added. 

Melecio also gave credit to their opponent’s fluid system and court awareness, while pointing out the Green Archers’ rebounding struggles especially down the stretch. 

"It’s better to lose sa Game 1 pero yun nga. Kailangan naming mag-bounce back at i-adjust yung mga execution namin sa Ateneo. Sa tingin namin, mas grabe yung communication nila sa court kaysa sa amin," he said.

"Syempre, kasi yun nga, trailing kami by three pero dahil sa mga offensive rebounds nila, na-extend yung lead nila so yun lang naman, yung defensive rebounds namin," added Melecio, referring to the backbreaking three-point play of Isaac Go that came off an Ateneo miss.

Despite that, Melecio is still confident that they can bounce back come Game Two on Wednesday. 

"May instances lang na ganun lalo na nung crucial kasi minsan nagkaka-ganun talaga kami pero this time, sa crucial possession nangyari. Nawala kami sa focus, yun lang," he said. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11