Racal coach Caloy Garcia feels that his team didn’t play like the top team in the PBA D-League.
Snaring the No. 1 seed at the end of the eliminations, the Tile Masters failed to show their fangs and allowed Tanduay to surprise them early before falling, 88-86, in Game 1 of their semifinals series on Thursday.
“We played like we already lost the series,” he said. “With the way we played, parang wala lang sa amin yung laro.”
Garcia said that the twice-to-beat incentive may have triggered his squad to feel a bit overconfident, allowing the Rhum Masters to run away and establish a 23-point lead.
“We can’t think of the twice-to-beat, but rather, we want to think that we want to win. Kung ganoon din ang lalaruin namin sa Tuesday, it’s going to be hard for us to win,” he said.
Garcia also rued the poor defense his team had in the affair, while also zooming the focus on the individualistic plays which all came together in the team’s downfall.
“Masyadong malaki yung 23 points na hinabol namin. Though we still had a chance to win the game, we have a few days to correct the lapses we did in the defensive side. Sa offensive side, medyo ok naman kami. Ang problema talaga is yung depensa,” he said.
“There was no ball movement. Naging one-on-one. We did a good job in the second half feeding the bigs once in a while, kaso sa bandang huli, nag-one-on-one ulit. We have to play as a team offensively and defensively.”
Tanduay also beat Racal in its own game, punishing the Tile Masters in the open court with Gelo Alolino, JP Belencion, and Kevin Ferrer making their damage in transition.
“We are the running team and we beat them before twice with that. They surprised us by doing the same thing and they were able to build a good lead. The only lesson to be learned is we can’t relax against Tanduay,” he said.
Despite these miscues, Garcia is hopeful that Racal will solve its problems as it shoots for its first ever Finals appearance.
“At least, that’s the incentive of being a top two team. We just have to go back and see what we did wrong and correct it,” he said. “Papasok din sa isip namin yun, but with the team we have right now, I think we can pull off a victory on Tuesday. Confident naman ako.”