Zamar hopes back-to-back losses wake Cebuana up in semis
After a 7-0 start this 2015 PBA Foundation Cup, Cebuana Lhuillier seemed to have hit a wall.
Losing first to Hapee, 71-70, the Gems fell for the second straight game to fierce rival Cagayan Gerry’s, 102-95 on Monday as the top seed stumbled to end their elimination campaign.
Though Cebuana still holds an automatic semis berth as the number one seed, coach Boycie Zamar raised concerns on his squad’s readiness to take on the challenge of being a title contender.
“Gusto natin mag-end yung elimination ng 8-1 or 9-0, but the most important thing is we have to pass through this. The players have to accept that,” he said. ” I think yung dalawang straight na talo, this will teach us a lesson that we have to be hardworking. Nag-7-0 eh. They thought everything would be ok. It’s all about defense. Ang sukatan naman dito is the end result ng conference eh.”
Fielding probably its strongest lineup since joining the D-League, the Gems believe that this is their best chance of winning the title.
But Zamar knows that in order for the squad to achieve its goals, it has to match the expectations and continually play at par with what people expect from them. And he believes that the two straight defeats should be the reality check Cebuana badly needs this deep in the tourney.
“It happened to us before. Sa semis, maganda ang nilaro namin pero na-out kami sa Blackwater. Another semis, kalaban namin NLEX, na-out kami na 2-0 din. Last conference, up kami ng 1-0 pero na-two straight kami ng Cagayan. These are the things na it’s better now that it happened. We have to take the risk, but it happened now so we have to regroup as a team,” he said.
Zamar, though, is hoping that the Gems’ semis berth would work to their advantage, allowing players to recuperate from their injuries and better incorporate themselves to the Cebuana Lhuillier style of basketball.
“Everything boils down to championship poise, kung pano mo iha-handle yun,” he said. “Sabi nga ni coach Ronnie (Magsanoc) before when we faced them, we were playing for pride while they were playing for survival. Now come the semis, we’re gonna be playing for our life.”
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