Firing blanks at the worst possible time.
In losing its twice-to-beat advantage, Adamson delivered probably its worst shooting performance from beyond the arc this season, making just one of 22 three-point attempts as they lost, 73-71.
But as fans and observers probably press the panic button after this sordid display, coach Renren Ritualo — himself one of the greatest shooters of all time in Philippine basketball — is not sweating a thing.
“No, not at all. Not at all,” he told Akari Sports when asked whether he’s worried about the Soaring Falcons’ shooting slump.
The San Marcelino squad has made just two of their last 42 three-pointers — a lethargic clip considering how points from rainbow territory have been important to their campaign so far.
Sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi has made just one of his eight attempts, while Jerom Lastimosa, Sean Manganti, Jun Espeleta and Jerie Pingoy have combined to sink one of their last 28 tries from three.
Ritualo admitted Ahanmisi wasn’t in the best shape yet after a bout with high fever the week before.
“Jerrick wasn’t in form yet because he got sick last week. Yung rhythm niya wala pa,” he said. “By Wednesday, maybe he’s got more than a week of rest and a week of practice na. Hopefully, he can get the rhythm again.”
He also paid tribute to how the Fighting Maroons shackled Adamson’s shooters and gave them a hard time to get going.
“You have to give credit to the defense of UP,” he stressed. “Hindi tayo masyado naka execute. We failed to read the defense. Yung players di nakapag react kaagad.”
True enough, UP’s defenders were at the Falcons’ grill, giving no uncontested shot throughout the game and limiting their foes to just nine perimeter points.
Ritualo, though, knows that they have one more chance to make things right and make history by bringing Adamson to the championship round for the first time in 26 years.
“We just have to execute,” he said. “Kanina we failed to execute. Last four minutes nung humabol tayo yun. Our defense fuels our offense. Dun nagsisimula lahat.”