The Beermen bowed to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 123-119, in overtime on Sunday in a game where the defending champions lost a 17-point lead and import Troy Gillenwater in the first half.
Gillenwater bumped a referee after contesting a foul, a move that means automatic ejection from the game.
The loss was the second straight for San Miguel following an 85-93 defeat to Meralco on May 9.
Arwind Santos is naturally concerned over the Beermen’s dismal start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“I’m alarmed,” Santos said in Filipino. “It’s just a short conference and every win matters.”
“We still have hope. It’s still a long way and we can still get to our goal which is the top two. If we don’t, that’s life. It’s not always that you’ll be on top,” Santos added.
Santos led San Miguel’s losing effort with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks.
But the 2013 Most Valuable Player knows that at this stage, the resilient Beermen still have control of its fate.
“We won’t quit,” Santos said. “We’ll make the adjustments that we need, and maybe, there will be changes. We’ll see in the coming days.”
Another team in a bind is Blackwater, which remains winless in five starts.
Bong Ramos said he never expected anything easy when he got the Elite head coaching job.
With a 0-5 start, he said they are still in a transition period.
“It’s never going to be easy,” said Ramos, who took over Leo Isaac three games into the import-spiced conference. “I’m trying to instill my system little by little. You can’t shock them.”
“This is a process, so slowly, we’re integrating my system. We know this isn’t going to be an overnight change so what we could do is to stay optimistic.”
Blackwater’s playoff chances have gone slimmer after its 91-105 defeat to Ginebra on Friday, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be better soon with a tussle against TNT Ka-Tropa coming up this Friday.
Only the top eight teams will progress to the playoffs.
But Ramos still believes the Elite have what it takes to cut the league giants down to size.
“We know how strong the opponents are and we know we have a lot to work on,” he said. “But what we need is more work. They might be stronger, but if we can outwork them, I believe we’ll eventually get the win.”
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