MANILA, Philippines—Letran guard Bonbon Batiller could only curse at himself after he missed a layup that could have won the Knights the NCAA Season 95 men's basketball crown.
They were down 77-76 against San Beda with 19.1 seconds left, after Batiller had given up a 3-point play to Calvin Oftana.
Batiller had a chance to make up for it, as he was set up by team captain Jerrick Balanza for a shot that could have given them back the lead. But the 25-year-old guard missed the reverse layup; to make matters worse, the ball did not even hit the rim, giving the Knights a shot-clock violation.
James Canlas went on to ice the victory at the line for San Beda. The 79-76 result ensured that the finals will head to a deciding Game 3 on Tuesday.
"Isang shot na lang, isang layup ko na lang p------ champion na, s----" a regretful Batiller said in an expletive-filled rant.
"Para sa akin, ako ang nagpatalo sa game," he added. "Nahihiya ako sa teammates ko, kasi isang shot na lang, isang layup ko na lang . . . Kung na-convert ko 'yun, hindi ganoon ang takbo ng game."
"Pero p-------, nadulas talaga."
The missed shot spoiled what had been a solid game for Batiller. He had 11 points on 2-of-6 shooting along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and played a role in helping the Knights recover from a 15-point hole to start the game.
He is grateful for his teammates, who told him to keep his head up after the error.
"Wala akong narinig (na masama) sa mga teammates ko," he said. "Ganoon ako kabilib sa mga teammates ko. Ganoon nila ako kamahal, ganoon ko sila kamahal."
"Wala silang sinasabi sa akin na negative, puro positive lang," Batiller added. "Ganoon talaga, di para sa amin 'yung laro."
As much as he lamented the missed opportunity, Batiller said he knows the team has no other option now but to focus on Tuesday's Game 3.
"Sabi ng mga boss and mga coaches, hindi pa tapos at may time pa para bumawi sa Game 3," said Batiller. "Positive lang."
"Bukas sa practice, kailangan ipakita namin kung anong ipapakita namin sa Game 3. Kailangan na namin simulan doon."
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