The Powerade Tigers left everything on the court in Game Three of the Philippine Cup finals. But it still wasn’t enough to beat the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, who outlasted the Tigers in overtime to take a 3-0 series lead.
But even though Powerade is only one loss away from becoming the fourth team in PBA history to be swept in the finals, the Tigers are keeping their heads up.
“I never thought I’d be proud of a team that is down 0-3 in a best-of-seven finals,” wrote Powerade top executive JB Baylon in a text message to the team after Game Three.
“Then again, I never thought I’d ever be a part of a team like ours. Let me say it again: there is nothing more as a Coke employee can ask all of you. I stand prouder today that I have ever been in years because our team has made me so.”
Still, Baylon said that he’s not losing hope that the Tigers can pull off the impossible.
“But deep in my heart, I know that you know that 0-3 is nothing, that history can be rewritten, that the greatest mistake people make is to belittle us. How our conference will end will be up to you because you were the author of this historic, epic performance. If our destiny is to come home with a runner-up trophy, who am I to complain? But if somehow you all individually and as a team come back from the edge of the grave and win, then I’d say this team is truly destined for greatness.”
Powerade top gun Gary David, who played 48 of a possible 53 minutes in Game Three en route to 36 points, could not help but express his frustration over losing
“Siguro kailangan na nating aminin na talagang malakas ang Talk ‘N Text at talagang hirap na hirap kami,” he said. “Hindi pa rin enough yung ipinapakita naming maski na ibinubuhos na naming lahat.”
Still, the Powerade brain trust knows that it couldn’t ask for anything more from David and the rest of the Tigers in this series.
“How can you complain when you have Gary David scoring 36 points?” said Powerade assistant Alex Compton. “Or Doug Kramer grabbing 23 rebounds, JVee Casio making big shots and Marcio Lassiter contributing and Sean Anthony playing their best games of the series? And these guys played for more than 40 minutes giving their all.”
“As long as you see these players playing hard, you cannot complain even when you’re down 0-3.”
Casio, the team’s top overall pick, hit the game-tying three-pointer that sent the game into overtime. But his luck ran out in the extra period, as the Tropang Texters put the cudgels on the Tigers.
“It’s typical favorites versus underdogs and the favorites are showing why they’re picked to win the crown, kaya maski anong gawin naming, talagang hirap na hirap kami makakuha ng panalo,” said Casio.
Anthony, Powerade’s hardworking forward who scored 25 points in Game Three despite having to play with a protective mask, said that the Tigers need to ramp up their defensive effort.
“We need to make stops,” he said. “Yes, we did our objective of scoring high, but that’s not the way to win against Talk N Text. You cannot just compete with them by trading baskets. And we had a lot of elementary mistakes down the stretch.”
Romel Adducul, the oldest member of the team, added that endgame poise is also important.
“Kailangan ingatan naming yung bola, lalo na sa endgame. Doon kami laging natatalo,” he said.