The Phoenix-Far Eastern University Accelerators failed to close out their Finals series against the formidable Cafe France-Centro Escolar University Bakers Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Again, the Bakers were able to build a double-digit lead (14 points) early in the final quarter and again, the Accelerators played catch-up basketball. Mac Belo, who earlier in the day had received the Most Valuable Player trophy for this conference, led his team by scoring eight points in a 16-4 rally that cut the lead to just one, 88-89, with three minutes remaining in the game. Due to careless turnovers, the Accelerators could not perform another end-game heist as they succumbed to the Bakers, 100-94.
Belo admitted that winning the Most Valuable Player crown was a testament to his teammate Mike Tolomia’s leadership on the floor, saying, “Blessed ako pero give credit to Mike talaga. Sa kanya yun nag-uumpisa yung opensa namin. Siya rin yung runner-up sa MVP kaya shine-share ko yung MVP sa kanya. Tsaka sa mga teammates ko rin.”
However, the sting of losing Game Four, and possibly losing the series, was what was on his mind after the game. “Bale wala nga lang ito pag hindi namin makuha yung championship,” he lamented.
“Medyo kinapos kami kasi na-unahan kami ng Cafe France,” he reflected. “Kasalanan din kasi namin kasi ang dami naming binigay na free throws, 39 free throws ata.”
The Accelerators gave up 34 fouls in the game that resulted in the Bakers attempting 39 free throws, converting 30. Moreover, the rebounding mentality of the Accelerators was clearly not seen as they were greatly out-rebounded 54-43.
Looking forward to the winner-take-all Game Five on Thursday, April 14, Belo vows to enter the game with a ‘no tomorrow’ mindset. “Do-or-die na. Wala ng bukas. Kelangan namin ibigay lahat starting tomorrow sa practice namin. Lahat ng mali namin kelangan namin ayusin talaga,” he closed.