MANILA, Philippines – With the chance to play the hero in Alaska's knockout game against GlobalPort for the last quarterfinals spot in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Simon Enciso came up agonizingly short.
The Aces trailed 104-107 with three seconds to go, and ran a tremendous play out of a timeout that allowed Enciso to cut to the right corner for an open look at the game-tying basket.
Enciso had made only one of his four previous attempts from the three-point area at that point, but his final shot looked good. Unfortunately for the Aces, the triple just fell short, grazing iron before falling into the hands of Chris Exciminiano, who put up a lay-up at the buzzer.
"There's not much I can say," Enciso said after the game, which saw the end of Alaska's campaign in the midseason conference.
"I just need to be better," he said. "I've been in a shooting slump these couple of games, so there is nothing I can really do right now but to just get back to the gym and do better."
"Next conference, I'll be ready."
Alaska's campaign in the Commissioner's Cup was a hugely disappointing one, as they opened up the conference with four straight wins, only to end it with eight consecutive defeats.
The last two losses were doubly painful – with a chance to seal a quarterfinals spot, the Aces squandered a 21-point lead against the Star Hotshots and lost in overtime. Then came the knockout game against GlobalPort, where they led by 14 points in the opening frame only to be eventually taken down by Terrence Romeo in crunch time.
For Enciso, who was traded to Alaska from Phoenix in February, it was a challenge that he cannot wait to bounce back from.
"We've fought hard until the end," he said. "I believe in this team, I believe in coach. He's a hell of a coach, and it's a pleasure that they acquired me this conference."
"I just feel super blessed to just be on this team," Enciso added. "I'll be better, and I'll be ready."
Enciso averaged just 5.58 points per game in the conference, shooting a woeful 28% from the field.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.