Exhaustion was the least of Mike Tolomia’s concerns on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-1 playmaker poured his heart out in his 32 minutes of action as he carried Phoenix to an 89-78 victory that dethrone Cafe France and brought Phoenix back to the Finals.
“Winner’s attitude. Ayaw na nga nya magpa-sub eh,” shared coach Eric Gonzales.
The Accelerators did hinge on Tolomia, as he fired 31 points while also dishing out four assists and hauling down three rebounds.
Still seething from Phoenix’s 78-68 Game 1 defeat last Thursday, Tolomia wanted no let ups this time out.
“Ayoko na maulit yung nangyari nung last game. Ang ganda ng start namin tapos biglang kami natambakan,” he said, after the Accelerators an eight-point lead and fell by 10 in the end.
“Sabi ko lang sa coaches na pagdating sa second half, diinan na nila yung pagikot ng tao.”
Tolomia’s blazing start rubbed off on his teammates, with usual suspects Mac Belo, Ed Daquioag, and Roger Pogoy following suit in the big victory.
The 23-year-old shared that gutting out a quality victory on a tough team like Cafe France is definitely a huge confidence boost for Phoenix as it moves on to the championship round of the 2016 PBA D–League Foundation Cup.
“Mahalaga sa amin ito kasi kapag playoffs, marami kaming matututunan at madadala namin yung nga ganitong laro sa Finals,” he said.
Tolomia, though, argues that the Accelerators still won’t be the favorites regardless of who they face in the Finals.
“Kung Racal ang mananalo, kami pa rin yung underdog kasi tinalo nila kami twice. Mahirap din naman kalaban ang Tanduay,” he said.
The best-of-three Finals series will start on Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.