Vanguardia owns up to Phoenix failed quarterfinals bid
Phoenix had a decent start in the PBA Governors’ Cup winning its first two games, but everything went downhill when the Fuel Masters strung together nine straight losses, effectively dashing any hope for a spot in the quarterfinals.
The team’s 11th-place finish was the worst since head coach Ariel Vanguardia took over, and he knows there’s no one to blame for their dismal finish but himself.
“This is all part of the journey and we are really humbled by this experience,” said Vanguardia after Phoenix lost to San Miguel 109-107 at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
“I take full responsibility. We will learn from this and we’ll move on to become a better team.”
Phoenix was able to enter the playoffs in the first two conferences of the season finishing as the sixth seed in both the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups, but it was in the Governors’ Cup that Vanguardia’s team took a dip.
And with the 2016-2017 season over for Phoenix, Vanguardia now looks at the future with a eye on the upcoming draft.
Phoenix, potentially, has the fourth pick in the draft and Vanguardia says they’re looking to add Filipino-German big man Christian Standhardinger.
The 6-foot-8 bruiser, however, won’t play in the PBA in the first six months of the season as he is under contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Lions in the Asean Basketball League.
“The first three teams may not like him [Standhardinger], because he’s not going to play for the first six months,” said Vanguardia. “We’re willing to wait.”
Vanguardia also looks at NCAA standouts Rey Nambatac of Colegio de San Juan de Letran and San Beda’s Robert Bolick and Davon Potts to fill up their backcourt spots.
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