Sloppy Fuel Masters playing like high school players, says Baguio

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Phoenix veteran guard Cyrus Baguio admitted he and the rest of his teammates—and not the coaching staff—should be held accountable on the Fuel Masters’ second straight blowout loss in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.

The 6-foot-2 Baguio need not look anywhere else in figuring out what did them in as the Fuel Masters absorbed a 98-117 setback against the KaTropa, a lopsided result that came on the heels of a 44-point beating they suffered against the Star Hotshots over the weekend.

“Lahat naman ginagawa na nila coach (Ariel Vanguardia). Pero hindi talaga umubra. Tingin ko nasa players na (ang problema). Kasi ‘yung mga coaches ginawa na nila ahat,” lamented the 13-year veteran, who finished with 15 points, but accounted for five of the team’s 28 errors.

“Ako rin naman may pagkakamali din ako. Ayaw ko naman mag-point out kung sino nagkamali. Halos kami lahat nag-ambag sa mistakes.”

The fact that the Fuel Masters trailed by as many as 28 points and got manhandled by the KaTropa on the boards—51-38—should only leave Baguio and his teammates doubly frustrated.

“Parang mga high school players kami sa loob. Nakakahiya na,” he admitted. “Ang dami naming kulang. Unang-una ‘yung mga big men namin, bata pa, kulang pa sa experience.”

The continued absence of big man Doug Kramer, who was acquired from GlobalPort in exchange for 6-foot-9 center Mick Pennisi in the off-season, has not merit Phoenix anything positive.

“Lagi kaming natatalo sa rebounds tsaka sa depensa, dehado kami. Hindi kami maka stop, easy baskets lang lagi kalaban,” added Baguio, referring to the KaTropa’s 42 points in the lane, most of them coming from TNT big man Kelly Williams, Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario.

Having dropped their second straight match and third overall in five matches, Baguio feels its about time for the Fuel Masters to point out what’s been the main culprit.

“Siguro kailangan namin mag-usap-usap, ‘yung mga players. Ito na ang team namin. Wala ng ibang pwedeng kunin. Management decision na ‘yun kung may ma-trade para tumulong.”

Phoenix has four more days to address its woes and Baguio is hoping they’ll come in with renewed intensity against Meralco on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

“May chance pa naman kami ngayon. Ang problema talaga kulang effort, kulang sa desire dumepensa at maglaro, utak namin wala sa loob, talo na nga kami kasi puro talented kalaban mas malaki and sipag wala rin,” he said. “Sana magising kaming lahat. Kami-kami na ‘to. Manalo matalo kami kami, kailangan ma-figure out.” – Jerome Lagunzad

Follow the writer on Twitter: @BudoyLagunzad