Tanduay head coach Lawrence Chongson was disappointed with his team’s showing despite a 94-81 win over Wangs Basketball on Monday.
“How can you be happy? Not to underestimate the opponent but you’re leading by 20 and you let them get back in the game,” said Chongson in Filipino.
The Rhum Masters held a 22-point advantage, 84-62, with 8:22 left in the game, but a furious fightback by the Couriers allowed them to get to as close as 13.
It would have been a disastrous collapse if not for Mark Cruz making timely baskets in the clutch to douse the rally as Tanduay scored its breakthrough win in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
Chongson acknowledged that the new-look Rhum Masters have yet to grasp the culture he cultivated which helped his side make it to last season’s Foundation Cup Finals.
“We’re one of the old timers in the league but it’s only the team that is old. The players are new. I have 12 new players in my team and there’s a lot who came from college so maybe, they still haven’t gotten our culture,” he said.
“You’re playing in a league wherein it’s a different kind of jungle that you have school-based teams and teams that have an import. You have to play them all and you can’t be complacent. So for me, I know I have to find a way,” he added. “We’re not just after the wins, we’re after the standards we set in Tanduay.”
Tanduay goes back to action on Thursday against AMA Online Education.