Cuan 'proud' of Alab Pilipinas despite ABL semis exit | Inquirer Sports

Cuan ‘proud’ of Alab Pilipinas despite ABL semis exit

/ 01:17 AM April 10, 2017

Photo from ASEAN Basketball League Facebook/Onvisa Thewphaingarm

Photo from ASEAN Basketball League Facebook/Onvisa Thewphaingarm

BALIWAG — Mac Cuan was confident Alab Pilipinas were primed force a Game 3 in the 2017 Asean Basketball League semifinals.

The rookie mentor shared that he has been optimistic all week long about his team’s chances against the Singapore Slingers on Friday despite missing the services of key cogs in Ray Parks and Jeric Fortuna, who were both nursing injuries for the do-or-die tiff.

“Honestly, I really thought we were going to win. I really thought we were gonna play Game 3,” Cuan said.

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However, things didn’t pan out the way Cuan expected as Alab fell to the Slingers, 82-64, in Game 2 on Friday.

“I really didn’t know what happened. With the way we’ve been practicing the past few days, I thought we would have played better,” he said.

Alab started strong but faded as the game progressed and fell behind by 20, 43-23, at one point in the second quarter before Kiefer Ravena led an uprising to get them to as close as 57-51 in the third period. That, however, was the team’s last stand as Josh Urbiztondo and Xavier Alexander put the game away and completed the sweep for Singapore.

Still, Cuan said that there’s no shame with how Alab fared in their first crack at the ABL, noting that the team’s immaturity showed.

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“I told them before the game that whatever happens, I’m proud of them. With the things we dealt with, adjusting with new players, we were still there. But the third quarter was the story of our season. We’ll close in and then we’ll let go. We stopped being disciplined, we stopped paying attention to details, and we didn’t have the consistent effort to stick to our gameplan. Until the end, that’s what happened to us,” he said.

Charging this one to experience, Cuan said that he’s looking at this run as a learning curve for Alab as he and his team gained a lot of lessons from their maiden campaign in the ABL.

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“Honestly, I felt that if we had two solid imports with those locals, we can compete and we wouldn’t be on vacation right now. It’s just really tough. But I can say that everybody improved a lot. I still feel we can compete with them,” he said.

“Personally, I think I’ve also learned a lot. This opportunity is really a blessing and I feel I’ve grown as a coach.“

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TAGS: ABL, Alab Pilipinas, Asean Basketball League, Jeric Fortuna, Josh Urbiztondo, Kiefer Ravena, Mac Cuan, Ray Parks, Singapore Slingers, Xavier Alexander

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