Tanduay keeps head high despite finals loss

Tanduay Rhum Masters head coach Lawrence Chongson. PBA IMAGES

Tanduay Rhum Masters head coach Lawrence Chongson. PBA IMAGES

Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson can live with the fact that his team gave it their all despite losing in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals.

“Who doesn’t want to end up number one? But then, kung alam mo naman na you gave it your all, yun ang tinakda, na hanggang second place lang. But it’s always better than third, fourth, or fifth place,” Chongson said.

“I’ll always be proud sa achievement namin, sa kung ano man ang narating ng team ko.”

Chongson said that the defeat in the championship round is eerily the same with his loss in the UAAP Finals in 2009, where his UE team lost to Ateneo in three games.

“Parang ganun ang ending,” he said, as he also had Val Acuna and Rudy Lingganay during that bitter experience. “That’s the way the cookie crumbles. What can you do? All we can do is give our best effort and have fun doing this.”

Tanduay shocked the field in the playoffs, eliminating top seed Racal en route to its first ever Finals appearance. Phoenix, however, was just a tad bit better as it took the deciding Game 3, 87-78 on Thursday.

“We had to go through several do-or-die games. Yung instinct namin mag-survive, nandyan, but we lost to a better team,” he said.

Chongson, though, made it clear that although the defeat will linger for a while, but it would never take the fire out of Tanduay as it continues its search for its first championship.

“Yung passion namin sa basketball, di naman nag-waver. Pahinga lang kami, regroup, and go back to the drawing board. D-League ito, so you always get different personnel every time. Iba-iba na naman,” he said.