Christian Standhardinger didn’t use too many words to sum up his feelings on Sunday night.
“It’s obviously very, very tough on a night like this,” Standhardinger said, after a loss by Barangay Ginebra to TNT in Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup ruined his coronation night as Best Player of the Conference (BPC).
Standhardinger, who was one of the last Ginebra players to come out of the locker room after the 116-104 loss to TNT at Smart Araneta Coliseum, later added: “Sometimes you can’t have everything you want.”
Ginebra didn’t get what it wanted in front of 16,203 fans, most of them disappointed over a performance that saw TNT firing a Finals-record 21 threes despite being a man down anew with RR Pogoy out for the rest of the series due to an injury.
Instead of a pivotal victory that Justin Brownlee had hoped going into the contest, Ginebra and TNT are now entering the homestretch locked in a best-of-three race to get to four wins first.
“It’s tough to beat … any team [that makes] that many three-pointers,” said Brownlee, who had a rare foul-prone evening that stretched the trend of seesaw performances of the beloved import in the series.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who had said that the long ball may determine the outcome of the series, refused to cite TNT’s incredible marksmanship alone as the reason for the setback.
Cone felt the Gin Kings’ defense left plenty to be desired.
“We hit threes too, but we didn’t defend,” a visibly disappointed Cone said before excusing himself.
The three-point trend won’t be easy to ignore, however. So far in the series, the team that hit more triples has won every game.
Whatever adjustment Ginebra comes up with when both teams troop back to the Big Dome floor for the key fifth game, it will have little to do with effort.
“I think there’s no doubt in my mind that we go out there every night and we give our all, loss or victory,” said Standhardinger. “I just know that being out there with my guys, so I know it’s not an effort thing.”
“I think we need to do a better job of taking away the things they are great at, and then harness that energy that we put in every night into defense and into offense and work more efficiently,” he added.
As he left the arena, Standhardinger carried with him his BPC award and the Finals Most Valuable Player plaque from the Commissioner’s Cup, which already had his name inscribed.
On any given day, both prizes would be something to celebrate on the way home.
But not on Sunday night.
“Obviously, there’s so much appreciation. But man, we all wanted that win and it’s such tough to lose like this,” Standhardinger said. “We just have to bounce back now, figure it out. But it’s tough to lose like this on a night like this.” INQ
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