LEARNING from their initial mistakes should be on the foremost on the minds of both Meralco and Columbian when they square off Friday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Both the Bolts and Dyip dropped their opening assignments and are sure to like nothing more than to get untracked in the mid-season conference.
"OKay lang naman, first game pa lang naman iyun," said Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel, whose side got beaten by Alaska 98-111.
"Ang importante, matuto mula doon sa mga mali namin in that game."
Meralco coach Norman Black should be thinking along the same line.
The Bolts lost a 91-94 overtime decision to Backwater after failing to sustain an early surge that gave the Bolts an early 11-point lead.
And then there's import Gani Lawal, who notched 34 points, 21 rebounds and three steals in his debut, but took 36 shots, committed 16 turnovers and issued no assist.
"I'd like to see him be more patient and rely a little bit to his teammates and try not to do it all by himself, which I thought he did a bit of tonight," said Black.
Lawal agrees. "I know, for me, that I need to just trust my teammates more and read situations better," the 30-year-old center said.
"I think a few times out there, different stretches, myself included, we just kinda got split up. So we should take our time in offense and make sure we continue to improve on defense."
The five-day break in-between games should help Lawal and his local teammates be more in sync.
"It's always tough when it's a loss. For me personally, I just wanna make the adjustment, look at the film, and go from there," said Lawal.
"There were just some things that I could've done better, but I'm staying positive."
The reverse is true for Cardel, who said his locals must trust their import more.
Kyle Barone posted 30 points and 22 rebounds, along with an assist, a steal, and a block each in the 41 minutes and six seconds he played against Alaska.
But the bulk of those numbers came when the Acs have turned the game around after outscoring the Dyip 34-13 in the third quarter.
"Doon kami natalo, sa third quarter," admitted Cardel. "Inabutan ng gigil. Kapag naka-shoot ang kalaban gusto mabawi agad."
Cardel was also quick to point out what adjustment his charges must make.
"Bago import, naninibago pa sa locals," related Cardel. "Pero dapat mga locals kailangan makipagtulungan sa import, bigyan din importansiya import. 'Yung import naman namin me pasensya, systematic."
Barone, a 29-year-old who has played in Asia for about five years now, said the key is still total team effort.
"We need everybody. It's not just me," said Barone, the lone Caucasian among the reinforcements.
"I like this team, I like the way we play. When we play well together we're good." (NC)