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Alas takes blame for Phoenix loss to SMB

/ 11:40 PM December 17, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

New Phoenix coach Louie Alas took responsibility for his team’s 96-104 defeat to San Miguel on Sunday to open the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

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“It’s my fault. We knew the ball will go to June Mar (Fajardo), but we still doubled him,” he said.

With no one to match against the four-time PBA MVP, the Fuel Masters desperately tried to double the behemoth, a move that spaced the floor perfectly for the Beermen and opened their shooters as Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot punished them from distance late.

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”From there, the lead got bigger and bigger. I just told my players that next time, I’ll be sharper. You can’t make mistakes on those situations and we really paid for it,” he said.

Still, Alas would rather look at the positives especially with how Phoenix fared against the three-time defending Philippine Cup champions.

“I saw some positive things. Easily, we could have given up early, but when we changed personnel, from 17-points down, we were able to trim it down to five,” he said, noting his squad’s huge rally to slice the lead down, 85-80 with 6:30 to play.

Alas also thinks the Fuel Masters have come a long way.

”If we didn’t have the preseason, we would have been down by almost 30 points. But part of that loss should be charged to me. If I did good thing in rotation or handling the doubling scheme, maybe the result would have been different and we could’ve stopped them. So we need to prepare ourselves that we need to play.”

Alas believes Phoenix just have to play with a little bit more consistency next time.

“It’s just consistency. We’ll close in, we’ll change players, and then the game will change too. We just have to find the right combinations. Even if we change the players on the floor, we still have to be consistent. And that’s my job.”

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The Fuel Masters return to action on December 27 against Kia.

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TAGS: 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, Louie Alas, Phoenix Fuel Masters, San Miguel Beermen
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