Pasig MCW Sports head coach Boyet Fernandez expressed confidence that his team can bounce back against Caloocan in Game Two of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) 2023 season North Division best-of-3 quarterfinals.
Pasig moved on the brink of elimination after losing Game One to Batang Kankaloo, 69-71, at the Bren Guiao Convention Center in Pampanga last Friday, October 6. Game Two is set at the Caloocan Sports Complex on Friday October 13.
“I told them that they [Caloocan] just beat us [Pasig] in one game. They still have to beat us one more game which is on Friday. We'll see but I'm happy the way they [my players] played in [Game One]. We're good, we'll be back,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez's confidence in his fifth seed team stems from the fact they had a good shot of taking Game One against the fourth seed Caloocan.
Disaster only unfolded for Pasig down the stretch as they couldn't make key free throws in the back-and-forth contest, ultimately paving the way for Gabby Espinas to sink the game-winning jumper for the Batang Kankaloo.
“We have a chance to win it. We're up nine points in the second quarter but we gave up 12 or 14 straight points to Caloocan in the third quarter and we slipped from there. That probably won't happen if we stuck on what we're doing right in the first half,” said Fernandez.
“I told my players that I can't blame them, those are just free throws, they just have to make it next time. It will be tough going to Caloocan's homecourt. From what we did today, probably we'll do it again,” added Fernandez, a decorated coach in the pros, semi-pro, and collegiate level.
Kenny Rocacurva, Robbine Manalang, Josan Nimes, and Ryan Costelo played solid for Pasig last timeout and they are expected to lead the charge anew for the MCW Sports-back squad.
On the other hand, Espinas and Reil Cervantes are out to lead the charge for the home team Caloocan which looks to secure a semifinal berth.
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