Frustrations mount as Arellano’s weakness exposed in loss to Mapua
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera expressed his disappointment over the Chiefs’ performance in their 76-81 defeat to Mapua on Friday, especially after letting the Cardinal’s big man Allwell Oraeme have his way in the paint.
The PBA legend rued the absence of the inside game for the Chiefs, which was greatly exposed against the waxing hot Cardinals.
“We were shattered by those 30 rebounds by (Allwell) Oraeme,” he said as the Nigerian behemoth made mincemeat of the Arellano frontcourt.
The Chiefs had a hot start but thanks largely to Oraeme, that was ultimately negated by the Cardinals’ 48-40 edge in rebounds.
“May mga games na talagang wala kaming inside presence. (There are pgames that we looked like we didn’t have any inside presence.) We’ve worked on it on the last week, but it’s just that our big man didn’t deliver. No presence at all. Para kaming donut kanina,” he said.
“It was a reversal of roles. We were down in the first round and we’re able to tie it at nanalo kami sa overtime. This time, we were up by 10, but they were able to catchup in the second half.”
That’s why Codinera couldn’t blame his star guard Jiovani Jalalon’s for disappointment on the outcome. The usually jovial Gilas cadet slumped in the dugout after the game and left San Juan Arena without saying a word.
“Sobrang pagod lang din talaga at di mo sya masisi na ma-let down sa second group na pumapalit sa kanila. Ang hirap talaga sa amin, unlike yung other teams na may deep bench,” he said. “We don’t have that luxury of sitting down Jalalon. You saw he even had cramps late in the game.”
(He’s really fatigued and you can’t blame him from feeling let down by the second group that subbed for them. The hard part for us is unlike the other teams, we don’t have a deep bench.)
The defeat brought Arellano down to 10-5, tied with Mapua for the last Final Four slot. And it doesn’t get any season for last year’s runner up with Letran, San Beda, and EAC still to come on their eliminations schedule.
Codinera is hoping that the his bench players and big men soon find their rhythm in their hunt for a return trip to the finals.
“We’re just trying to pull out some wins and hopefully, squeak our way to the Final Four,” he said. “We’ll just have to give our all, believe in each other, and continue motivating the players. They have to come to the game with the right frame of mind, and hopefully, we pull out some wins.”
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