‘Ebondo not Superman:’ Macaraya seeks better output from locals
Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya called out his locals as he desperately looked for any semblance of help following his side’s 88-86 Game 1 loss to Racal to open their best-of-3 semifinals on Tuesday.
The soft-spoken mentor made it clear that the Bakers could not depend on Congolese Rod Ebondo alone, and he needs more contributions from his other wards if they want to extend the series to a deciding Game 3.
“We cannot rely on just Ebondo because Ebondo is not Superman. Ebondo will always be a problem inside for the opponents, but we know that we have no one to replace him when he sits down,” he said.
Ebondo carried Cafe France in the game, pouring 30 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. He almost secured the victory late as he drilled the go-ahead trey, 86-85, with 1.9 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately, Sidney Onwubere had the answer on the other end, nailing the booming buzzer-beating three as Racal grabbed the 1-0 series lead.
Though defeated, Macaraya preached patience to his side, saying that in these situations, the key for the Bakers is to maintain their composure.
“I guess this loss will make us a better team. With a young team like this, I know that we can develop more players and we could improve more knowing all of the circumstances that happened,” he said. “I tell them that this loss doesn’t mean anything for us, but it will always be a lesson to be a better team. We will bounce back, focus on our concerns and mistakes, and hopefully, bounce back on Thursday. We’ll just enjoy and relax.”
For his part, Ebondo also doesn’t want to dwell much on the defeat as he looks forward to Game 2 on Thursday.
“This is just basketball. It happens, so we just have to deal with that. I can’t say anything about today’s loss,” he said. “The guy just made his shot, and that’s it. We lost the game. This is basketball no matter what. We just have to move on and focus on our game on Thursday.”