Centro Escolar University coach Yong Garcia was left with no words after his side absorbed a 78-56 beatdown against Cignal HD in Game 1 of the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals on Tuesday.
With the Hawkeyes firing in all cylinders and going on a 24-6 opening assault, the Scorpions failed to keep up and suffered the 22-point humiliation to go down 0-1 in the best-of-three championship series.
“It’s so hard to win if we shoot the way we did, just 26-percent,” the mentor said in Filipino after CEU’s paltry 21-of-82 shooting from the field.
Cignal’s defense was on point all game long, caging the Scorpions’ trifecta of guards in JK Casiño, Aaron Jeruta, and Orlan Wamar to a measly three points on a combined 1-of-26 shooting.
Garcia said that the off-game from the trio should serve as a lesson as CEU seeks to bounce back and force a winner-take-all Game 3 on Thursday.
“I told them that sometimes, they need to play decoy. They should know when to attack and when to pass up the ball. We got lots of forced shots earlier,” he said.
Casiño acknowledged that the Hawkeyes did a good job on containing the Scorpions, saying, “They were able to adjust on our plays and our individual tendencies. All of our shooters were shooting blanks.”
But the veteran playmaker shared that the bad showing only motivated three guards to rebound stronger for Game 2.
“We want to make an impact all the way. From the start, we have no expectations. Now that we’re here, we’re going all out. We want to make a statement that even though we’re not in the UAAP or the NCAA, we can still make an impact in Philippine basketball,” Casiño said.
And Garcia vows that CEU will leave everything in the table on Thursday.
“We won’t quit,” the coach said.