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Cañaleta on Blackwater debut: ‘Parang na-let down ko team namin’

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KG Cañaleta made his debut with the Blackwater Elite on Friday evening, but it was not the kind of debut he had envisioned after he and the Elite suffered a 92-89 defeat to the TNT Katropa at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

And Cañaleta feels like this defeat was all because of him, as he had missed the potential game-tying three-pointer from the left corner.

“Parang feeling ko, parang na-let down ko team namin,” rued the 35-year-old forward, who finished with just six points on a poor 2-of-15 shooting in 27 minutes of action.

“Parang wala rin yung pag gawa nila ng move.”

Cañaleta was referring to the game’s final sequence with 19.3 ticks to go. With Blackwater having the ball, they immediately set up a play to earn another basket. Unfortunately, TNT’s defense was swarming, and Cañaleta became their last resort.

Then — he missed. But despite the mishap, Cañaleta remains thankful, as his teammates still lauded him even after the late-game blunder.

“Maganda roon, ine-encourage pa rin nila ako. Mararamdaman mo yung kumpyansa pa rin sila sakin. Mino-motivate parin nila ako na tira pa rin,” the native of Tarlac said.

“Sabi ko sa kanila bawi na lang next time. Medyo naninibago din ako,” added Cañaleta, who has only had a day of practice with his new team after being traded by Globalport just this past Wednesday.

It was truly a bitter night for the 12-year veteran. But for Cañaleta, his missed shot is not something to dwell on. It has now become part of a challenge he has set for himself — the challenge to prove that he still belongs in the league.

“Parang ‘di naman pressure. Kumbaga challenge din para sa akin personally para ma-prove ko na kaya ko pa maglaro.”

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