The Blackwater Elite’s dream run in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup has come to a crushing end this Tuesday evening.
The Elite failed to keep hold of the lead midway into the final frame as Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots proved too wily to be taken down, and got away with the 103-99 win to book the first ticket to the semifinals.
“Masakit lang kasi andun na kami eh, kaya namin manalo eh. May mga kaunting mistakes lang ta’s ‘pag pinagsama-sama mo, laking epekto sa team,” rued Poy Erram, who had 15 points and 19 rebounds in the loss.
It is particularly disappointing for Erram and Blackwater because this wasn’t the exit they thought they’d have. The Elite had opened the conference with four straight wins, and were even one of the first teams to clinch a playoff spot.
But as much as Tuesday was heartbreaking, Erram still had something to smile about on the very same night.
Erram had been just named by head coach Yeng Guiao in Gilas Pilipinas’ 20-man pool made specifically for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers set from November 30 to December 3 here in Manila.
With that, the 6-foot-7 slotman is nothing but grateful.
“Nagpapasalamat ako nakasama uli,” said the five-year pro. “Looking forward ako dun sa challenge. Bagong lessons na naman matututunan ko. Ready lang palagi kung masama man sa lineup o hindi.
“Dun ako, lalaban ako.”
Erram has been included in a pool that is rich in talent and size, as he is among the country’s finest big men such as June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Ian Sangalang, Christian Standhardinger, and Kai Sotto.
Naturalized center Andray Blatche was not included in the new pool, however, but Erram believes that this current crop of Gilas has what it takes to wave the flag proudly and gallantly.
“May Andray man o wala, alam niyo naman lalaban yang mga players para sa Pilipinas,” the max player shared. “I think enough naman yung players na andun. I know coach Yeng, alam nya pano gamitin mga players.
“Alam natin ano caliber ng mga players dun. We have June Mar, Greg, and Japeth. Yan yung mga magagaling na big man sa PBA eh, so kailangan mo talaga sila i-utilize. I think, for me, ito na pinakamalakas na lineup ng Gilas,” he added.
“So kailangan lang gamitin yung talent. Ipagsama-sama. Set aside muna ego for one goal ng team.”
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