Delos Santos, Petron take finals loss in stride: ‘Nothing to be ashamed of’
Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos looked on as two confetti canons positioned on opposite ends of the court showered the air with small pieces of white paper.
He took it all in knowing that another conference in the Philippine Superliga officially came to an end, but the medal that hung below his neck wasn’t gold but silver.
Delos Santos’ Blaze Spikers, who are the defending Grand Prix champions, lost to familiar rival F2 Logistics, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, in the second game of the Invitational Conference finals.
This title loss brings Delos Santos’ championship record with Cargo Movers head coach Ramil De Jesus to 2-2, but Petron’s mentor isn’t looking too much at the head-to-head.
Delos Santos knows the loss should not be treated as a setback, rather a lesson for them to move forward.
“I told my players that there’s nothing to be ashamed of because all of the teams wanted to get here in the finals because it’s not that easy to get this far,” said Delos Santos in Filipino Saturday at Ynares Sports Center.
“We got here because of our hard work and of course the players became more matured for our future games here.”
Petron tried to make a comeback in the second set, erasing a nine-point deficit thanks to Cherry Rondina who scored the Blaze Spikers’ last five points in the set.
That, however, was the only successful period for the Blaze Spikers as the Cargo Movers methodically kept the distance in the third and fourth sets.
“I always say that I have a ton of respect for F2, from the coaches to the players I know the quality of their game,” said Delos Santos. “But of course we won’t put ourselves down too hard because we also have our own skills.”
“I just think that this was their time, kudos to them, but we will still face each other in the future.”
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