SINGAPORE – Alab Pilipinas coach Mac Cuan couldn’t hide his frustration after the team fell short against the Singapore Slingers, 71-68, in Sunday’s ASEAN Basketball League game at the OCBC Arena here.
Inconsistency hounded the Philippine side in its first overseas game, trailing by 10 points on two occasions in the third quarter before a last ditch comeback fell short behind missed attempts and costly turnovers.
The result sent Alab to 2-2, both defeats coming at the hands of the Slingers who came away with a 71-66 win in the first meeting last Nov. 27 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
“We’re not ready to compete mentally,” said Cuan. “Physically we are, pag gusto dumepensa, lock in, 12-point (deficit), boom, lalamang ulit kami. Pag lumamang kami, magrerelax kami – mental mistakes, turnovers, layup, layup, lalamang ulit sila ng sampu.
“We’re making basketball so hard, pinahihirapan namin yung basketball. Wala kaming consistent effort for 40 minutes, parang sobrang bilib kami na kaya namin, but at the end of the day, di mo kaya kasi talo kami.
“Kailangan namin i-correct yun, may talent kung talent but talent won’t just win games, you have to do it as a team, and you have to be ready to play, yun lang bottomline talaga e. May gameplan ka pero…di ko talaga maintindihan e.”
Bobby Ray Parks was hounded all game by the Slingers, most notably by guard Mitchell Folkoff, and was made just 3 of 9 shots despite going 15 points.
Lawrence Domingo, one of the few bright spots for Alab in the loss with his hustle plays and 15 points, lamented on thew missed opportunities afterwards.
“It’s disappointing when you don’t come on top and so as a player you focus on what you did that you could have done to win the game,” he said.
A win would have given Alab a positive outlook and a long Christmas break. Instead, it’s back to the drawing board for them, before they travel again to face the Kaohsiung Truth on Jan. 8.
“You can’t justify having a long break,” said Cuan.