MANILA, Philippines – Alab Pilipinas expressed its gratitude to its fans on Thursday afternoon, one day after ending its campaign in the 2018-2019 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season.
Alab failed in its mission to defend the championship, bowing to the seventh-seeded Hong Kong Eastern, 102-84, on the road at the Southorn Stadium.
In a statement posted on its social media accounts, the team thanked its fans and even its critics, "because underneath that, you were still one with our goal."
"Unfortunately, this season is not for us. No excuses," the team said. "It is what it is!"
"This season eluded us of the championship, but let's still end this chapter with a grateful heart," the team said in its statement.
Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag, in an emotional Instagram post, stressed that he is "still proud and thankful for our guyus."
"Never easy to fall short of the goal, but that's part of the beauty of this game. Learning, growing, evolving... This season has had its share of adversity, but no excuses," he said.
"Each season the goal is always to compete for the championship, and when you fall short, you re-evaluate and find ways to be better in the future," he added.
Meanwhile, Alab Pilipinas team owner Charlie Dy made a pointed comment for the team's "bashers."
"That's how life is, some people only love winners and are geniuses in criticizing losers. If you only see all our hardships and sacrifices every single day, then maybe you'll understand that what we're doing is not easy," said Dy.
"It's not the result we wanted, but we just have to congratulate Hong Kong for playing a good series," he added.
Alab lost Game 1 of the best-of-3 series, 90-88, at home to Hong Kong.
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