With Mark Cruz struggling to get his offense going in Game 2 of the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals, Tanduay turned to Lester Alvarez to captain the ship as it tried to close the series out.
The 28-year-old playmaker stepped up to the plate, finishing with 15 points on a 3-of-5 shooting from three, to go with three assists.
Unfortunately, Alvarez’ efforts weren’t enough to stop the bleeding for the Rhum Masters as they fell to Cignal-San Beda, 89-86, on Thursday as the series extended to a winner-take-all Game 3 next week.
“It was unfortunate. I had a good game but we still lost. It should have been better had we won,” he said.
Still, there’s no denying what the 5-foot-9 guard can bring to the table as he fills Tanduay’s need on the point on days when lead guard Cruz is having an off-day.
“Coach Lawrence (Chongson) got me for these instances, when Mark is struggling, I need to step up to help the team,” said Alvarez, who joins Cruz and Jerwin Gaco as the veterans in the team.
“I think I help this team through my leadership. I help in guiding the younger ones and share them what I’ve already experienced in the PBA.”
With Tanduay’s season hanging in the balance, Alvarez is staying positive tone as the Rhum Masters seek to close the series out come Game 3 on Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“We’ll adjust. It’s a do-or-die for us and we want to make it to the Finals. It’s a better feeling for me knowing that I got here late and I can still help the team advance to the Finals,” he said.