MANILA, Philippines – After Alaska got demolished by Magnolia in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup finals, Vic Manuel acknowledged the fact that they can't afford going down 0-2.
"The Muscleman" vowed that the Aces will come out with all guns blazing as they seek to equalize the best-of-seven championship affair on Friday, December 7, following their 84-100 series-opening loss Wednesday.
"Siyempre babawi kami. All out kami. 'Di puwedeng mag 2-0 kasi mahirap 'yun," Manuel, who finished with 6 points in 15 minutes of action, told reporters after the game.
(Of course we will come back. We will go all out. We can't go down 2-0 because that would be difficult.)
The Aces barely looked like the team that dispatched Meralco, a finalist in the last two years of the season-ending conference, as they allowed the Hotshots to go on a ferocious 15-0 start.
Alaska managed to makes runs here and there, but the closest it could get was within 5 points and Magnolia never reliquished its hold of the upper hand and even led by as much as 21.
Statistics also revealed how Magnolia edged Alaska in almost all departments, specifically on shooting.
The Hotshots shot 40-of-85 from the field for an impressive 47% while the Aces converted only 29 of its 71 shots for a decent 40%.
It also didn't help Alaska's cause that aside from going a paltry 7-of-28 from deep (25%), it bricked 13 of its 32 free throws.
"Kitang kita naman talaga e. Buong laro, talagang 'yung pressure defense nila andoon eh, 'di nagbabago. Mas willing talaga sila manalo ngayong game, so parang nabigla kami," Manuel added.
(Everybody saw what happened. All game long, they did not let up on defense. They were more willing to win this game, so they probably caught us off guard.)
"Talagang na-dominate nila ngayon. Sa Friday, 'di kami puwede mag-start ng flat uli. Kailangan masabayan namin energy nila, 'di lang sa start ng game, dapat full game talaga hanggang matapos."
(They really dominated us. On Friday, we can't start flat again. We need to match their energy, not just at the start but throughout the whole game.) – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.