Veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag lamented Meralco’s lackluster start and defensive lapses at crunchtime that spelled doom on their nail-biting loss over Star on Sunday.
The Bolts, who are eyeing to jump over the top four spot, fell into a flat start that gave the Hotshots’ locals some footing on their offensive production that carried throughout the game.
Down by 9 entering the final five minutes, the Bolts managed to mount a comeback led by a vintage three-point barrage from Alapag, but it all went for naught as Star import Joel Wright salvaged the win.
“We fought back and gave ourselves the chance but we didn’t get the stop down the stretch,” said Alapag, who poured 12 of his 14 points in the fourth. “We couldn’t be fooled by that 1-7 record, that’s still a Grand Slam champion team, so it happens.”
“You never put yourselves in that situation, because when you do, you leave yourself in a heartbreaking finish,” he added as the Bolts were stuck just a spot behind the top four with a 5-5 record.
Though absorbing another close setback, Alapag’s performance allowed him to inch closer for the record most made treys in the PBA. He is just 15 three points away from surpassing Allan “The Triggerman” Caidic.
But the “Mighty Mouse” quickly shrugged off the accolades, saying all he cared about is towing Bolts to a safer position come the playoffs.
“To be honest, my whole focus is just get my team to the top four spot. You don’t want to be on the other side, on the twice-to-win disadvantage,” he said.
Meralco will have a full week to prepare and bounce back against up-and-coming Mahindra squad. – By Jason Mercene
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