Star head coach Chito Victolero said frustrations have piled up on the Hotshots, who lost to the San Miguel Beermen by the slightest of margin for the second straight game in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals duel.
The Hotshots dropped a 111-110 decision in Game 3 on Wednesday, just two nights after absorbing a 77-76 loss.
“Of course, it’s really frustrating. The breaks of the game are just not going with us,” Victolero told reporters in Filipino. “San Miguel was really lucky and I think that game was really for them.”
For a moment, it seemed like Star had the game in the bag after its import Ricardo Ratliffe put the Hotshots on top, 110-108, with 13.6 ticks remaining.
San Miguel, however, had the final say with Marcio Lassiter banking in a well-contested triple with 1.6 seconds left to give the Beermen a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
“The defense was there, Justin was there to challenge the shot but it still went in,” Victolero said. “It was really for them.”
Game 4 on Friday is a do-or-die for the Hotshots and Victolero wants his team to play with a sense of desperation.
“We have to have a sense of urgency right now but we’re still positive. We played a decent game, we just had some lapses defensively.”
Star lost despite drawing monster numbers from Ratliffe anew with 44 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. His herculean effort came a couple of nights after putting up 25 points and 35 rebounds in Game 2.
And yet, Victolero insisted his bullstrong import has more to show up his sleeve.
“He still has more to offer. It’s not yet his best game,” Victolero said.