ONE would think a sound beating would completely dampen an upstart's spirits.
Not so for Phoenix Super LPG, whose coach said is now looking forward to clashing with Barangay Ginebra Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.
The Kings are looking to improve to a 4-0 slate and move alongside leader TNT, now idle after cutting short the Fuel Masters' unbeaten start at two through a 110-91 spanking last Monday.
For Phoenix coach Topex Robinson the loss helped his team in some ways, including bracing for the Ginebra match.
"Unang-una, it (loss to TNT) kept us grounded," said Robinson on the eve of the game.
"Also, nakita namin the team we could become," added Robinson. "We played TNT, one of the top teams along with Ginebra. We've learned we need to bring in our A-game for 48 minutes for us to have a chance to compete."
Even before that loss to TNT, Ginebra coach Tim Cone has already taken keen notice of Phoenix.
"Outside of TNT they really look like the best team," said Cone of the Fuel Masters. following his own side's 105-91 win over Meralco last Sunday.
"They're a complete team, well-coached," added Cone.
That observation should have been further reinforced with the way Phoenix even towed TNT up to the opening minutes of the third quarter, only to buckle under when the Fuel Masters' game sputtered while the Tropang Giga gained full steam.
"Though it didn't favor us in the end, sa amin nakakuha kami nu'ng mga p'wede naming ma-carry over into the Ginebra game," said Robinson.
"That's a good sign, na if we play our cards right we could have been up by 15 points," added Robinson.
"We know our capabilities. How to put those lessons to our advantage, iyun ang challenge sa amin." (NC)