Andrei Caracut would’ve wanted to take the equalizer late in Rain or Shine’s rally versus Barangay Ginebra on Friday night had there been an opportunity.
The sophomore sniper was among the options Gabe Norwood could’ve deferred to with the Elasto Painters needing a triple as they were down, 105-102, but the vet had a rare misjudgement and instead fired a midrange J with 16 seconds left.
His shot hit nothing but air and that, basically, was the end for RoS, which eventually fell to a 0-4 hole in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Sayang. Gusto ko talaga itira nun kasi kumpiyansa,” he told reporters moments after the 107-102 loss at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Caracut would have truly been a viable option for the needed outside shot as he was confident all night long, so much so that he set a new career-high in points with 32 on a 4-of-6 shooting clip from beyond the arc.
Per PBA stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, the 27-year-old became the lowest drafted player to score 32 points since Roi Sumang also finished with a career-high 32 in a 107-106 Blackwater win over NLEX in the 2017 Governors’ Cup.
Caracut was the 23rd overall pick by Rain or Shine in the Season 46 Rookie Draft while Sumang, recently hailed as the Season 47 Comeback Player of the Year by the PBA Press Corps, was drafted 26th overall by GlobalPort in 2015.
But the La Salle product, as much as he would’ve wanted to seize the moment, understands that such instances really do occur in games.
“Oo, pero nafeel ko meron sa likod eh,” he said, referring to Scottie Thompson, who was quickly near his position in the right wing where he tried to find his spot, the moment Norwood managed to get the possession back.
“Ta’s nagulat din si Gabe na open siya. Sabi ko naman OK lang ‘yun, ganun talaga. Nangyayari sa game … Pero good shot ‘yun e. Nagulat din siya, nagulat din ako meron sa likod ko. Pero wala ‘yun, si Gabe ganda naman depensa niya.”
If there’s any takeaway from his career night is that it further adds to Caracut’s confidence, although he’d want nothing more than wins for Rain or Shine.
“Anong masasabi ko sa career-high ko? May positive na nangyayari,” offered the 5-foot-10 guard, who’s now averaging 18.8 points in the conference.
“Marami pa rin akong kailangan iimprove, pero parang ‘yung confidence ko dumadagdag pa. Hopefully makatulong din sa team, makapanalo kami sa mga susunod na games,” he added.
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