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Inexplainable debut for new Kia head coach Ricky Dandan



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Inexplainable debut for new Kia head coach Ricky Dandan Basketball News PBA  Ricky Dandan PBA Season 43 Kia Picanto 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup
Photo by PBA Images

Prior to their game against the Magnolia Hotshots Wednesday, Kia Picanto has with them a new ray of hope, following the appointment of veteran mentor Ricky Dandan as their new head coach to replace Chris Gavina.

But it seems that the basketball gods have yet to bless the franchise.

Kia failed to give their new coach a fitting debut as they bowed to the Hotshots by a whopping 47 points, 77-124, which matched their franchise-worse loss, 81-124, last September 22, 2017, coincidentally against the Hotshots.

“I don’t know what happened. I can’t explain it,” said a dejected and disappointed Dandan after the match at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“I have to review tape, watch the third quarter and see what exactly happened.”

“But from my recollection, we played according to plan in the first two quarters only to suddenly play differently in the third,” he added, referring to the close affair early that all changed when Magnolia exploded afterwards.

This is now the Picanto’s third straight defeat in the 2018 Philippine Cup. And in their losses against Phoenix Fuel Masters last December 27 and now against Magnolia, Kia has lost an average of 35 points.

To make things worse, the four-year-old ball club has now drowned to their 15th consecutive loss — a skid that traces back from the 2017 Governor’s Cup and has now become the league’s longest losing run in the last 10 years.

Dandan isn’t a stranger in manning the sidelines of losing teams, having been the head coach of the UP Fighting Maroons from 2011 to 2013 and had amassed a 4-33 record. But for him, the experience with Kia is different.

“I feel that I’ve been coaching here forever. It’s tiring. I feel very tired.

“But we have to move on,” he rued.

The season is still early, and a lot of things will certainly happen. Nobody knows — even Dandan — when will Kia’s misfortunes end. But for now, all that he can do is make do with what he has at his disposal.

“We need to maximize the roster that we have regardless of who we play and regardless of the situation,” he said.

“We just have to suck it up and move forward and try to find ways to make the score closer and give us a chance in the end.”