Petron Blaze’s second half collapse in its first game this season against Rain or Shine revealed one thing—the team isn’t playing collective basketball, yet.
Boosters rookie coach Olsen Racela has said time and again that his team is not yet totally in sync considering the injuries that bugged his team during the offseason.
Gunner Chris Lutz and center Dorian Pena were coming off injuries prior to the Boosters’ first game in the Philippine Cup, which saw Rain or Shine, the newly-minted Governors Cup champion, roll past the disoriented Petron side, 102-86 on Oct. 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Boosters also missed another shooter in Marcio Lassiter and guard Chico Lanete, both out of commission due to injuries.
Here is Racela’s post-game talk: “We had turnovers sa transition na pahabol kami. Then we had missed free throws. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, this is just one game but we need to learn from this. Di namin puwedeng kalimutan ito,”
The Boosters were looking for a leader on the court during the pivotal second half. But veteran point guard Alex Cabagnot couldn’t pull the team together after shooting just five-of-16 from the field, while only issuing three assists and adding two turnovers in 39 minutes.
There’s no doubt that Petron is a team teeming with talent from front court to backcourt in the PBA today.
Consider the kind of championship materials they have this season: June Mar Fajardo, 6’10”, blessed with nice touch from the perimeter, can use his 270-plus-pounds weight to score underneath; Arwind Santos, the many-time All-Star who can score inside and out, Alex Cabagnot, the shifty veteran guard who played a pivotal role in Petron’s Governors Cup title two seasons ago, then the team also has Joseph Yeo, Jay Washington, Dennis Miranda, rookie Alex Mallari and two-time MVP Danny Ildefonso.
But this early, Racela knows talent alone won’t guarantee championships.
Instead, its teamwork forged through time and achieved by a team of selfless individuals that can get the job done.
As automobile inventor Henry Ford once said,
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.
Photo Source: http://www.pba.ph/images/news/Cabagnot2_header.jpg