Limitless fumbled to repeat as champions in the second conference of the PBA’s 3×3 tournament last Wednesday, but that hardly put a dent in the club’s confidence going into the Southeast Asian Games next month.
“The Philippines are the defending champions and that’s the torch we have to carry there. We’re defending the crown,” Appmasters skipper Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser said.
“We don’t want to lose but an eye-opener is OK,” he went on.
Limitless, the first conference champion, was tapped by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to represent the country in the biennial meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, beginning May 12.
The Appmasters have been playing with poise throughout the middle showcase, looking well-deserving of the gig that would preserve the gilded efforts of Mo Tautuaa, CJ Perez, Chris Newsome, and Jason Perkins here in Manila back in 2019.
But a heartbreaking loss to eventual conference winner Pioneer had Limitless crashing to earth.
“It’s disappointing,” Rosser conceded. “After the (fire emergency that caused a) delay at Araneta, we had another week to get prepared. And we really had a good week of practice. It’s just kind of perplexing that we came out here and just didn’t play our best.”
“If you looked at the conference as a whole, we finished the No. 1 seed. We were the most dominant, the most consistent team aside (from Leg 6). We made it to at least the semis every leg. So as I’ve said, we’ve been having good practices, and today was just not our day.”
Limitless has been keeping tabs on the SEA Games field. Rosser said the Appmasters took a close look at the Asean Basketball League’s 3×3 Challenge Cup which featured a bevy of players who will see action in Hanoi.
“Platinum represented the Philippines in that tournament and we were able to watch them. And yeah, there’s a lot of sizes, a lot of experience over there, but you know, I think we stack up pretty good versus any team in the region,” he said.
The Philippines’ swept the 2019 edition of the event but ran into a bit of resistance against Indonesia and this year’s host Vietnam.
But if there’s anything that will truly prime Limitless for a tougher field, it’s this loss, according to Rosser.
“We have a sour taste in our mouths [but] we want to get back to the glory that we had before,” Rosser said. “Today was just not our day but we’re looking forward to the SEA Games.”
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