Taulava says Road Warriors beat themselves in loss to Koreans
MACAU—The bronze medal match between the PBA’s NLEX and Etland of the Korean Basketball League, in the Asia League Super 8 almost became an all too familiar scene when a Philippine basketball team is involved.
Center Asi Taulava, who still remembers the brawl between Gilas and Australia in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifier, said their emotions got the better of them in the 67-62 loss.
“We felt that the Korean team didn’t beat us, we lost the game on ourselves,” said Taulava Sunday at Macau East Asian Games Dome. “There were too many hard fouls and we just got to know that playing in an international competition is different from playing in the PBA. These are two different styles of games.”
It all started when Kenneth Ighalo got bumped and hurt his his right thigh early in the fourth quarter and that hit subsequently saw Dave Marcelo elbow Park Bong Jin in the jaw a few seconds later.
Marcelo was ejected in the 8:29 mark of the fourth with NLEX trailing, 56-49, after he was called with a disqualifying foul, but he wasn’t the only Road Warrior to go to the showers earlier than expected.
NLEX steadied its course in the final minutes of the game cutting a nine-point lead, 65-56, into a one-possession ball game, 65-62, when Ighalo’s layup capped a 6-0 run with 10 seconds left to play.
And that was when another disaster struck after Michael Miranda was called with his second unsportsmanlike foul with 3.2 seconds left in the game effectively ending the Road Warriors’ comeback.
Miranda’s foul allowed Kim Nak Hyeon to ice the game from the free throw line after the game’s 48th foul.
“The PBA let’s us get away with the physicality,” said Taulava, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds. “A little bit of acting to go through with the physicality didn’t go into our favor.”
Although the game saw several bumps and falls, the seven seconds that left when Kim knocked down the game’s closing free throws saw the 10 players on the floor to brush off the earlier physicality.
“This is for the sportsmanship of Macau that’s why we want to play, that’s the way we want to play,” said Taulava. “There’s been a lot of bad news coming from Manila so we want to show that us PBA players will play with good sportsmanship.”
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