The 34-point beating Blackwater received at the hands of Magnolia on Wednesday was a bitter pill to swallow. But Elite guard John Nard Pinto believes that should not crush the team's confidence as they continue their chase for a top four finish in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup eliminations.
Blackwater wasn't in its element since the opening tip, falling behind by 16 points at the end of the first period and allowing Magnolia to dictate the tempo of the game the rest of the way en route to a 133-99 runaway win.
"We were slow in reacting on defense, maybe it's also due to fatigue since we were playing our third game in a week," Pinto told ESPN5. "Magnolia really prepared well against us."
The Pambansang Manok were razor-sharp on offense, finishing the game by shooting 55 percent (55-of-99). In contrast, the Elite only made 33-of-92 from the field for just 35 percent.
While fatigue could be the culprit, Pinto said they are not going to let that beatdown affect them as they focus on taking care of their last three assignments.
The Elite actually are taking a 10-day break, before returning to action versus the Alaska Aces who as of the moment are in solo third with a 5-1 card.
Blackwater and Phoenix are currently tied for fourth place in the standings with similar 6-2 records.
"I think winning two out of three games isn't bad anymore. We just need to focus in our practice and maintain the same heart we have to bounce back in our next games," explained Pinto.
Blackwater will play Alaska on October 21 before facing the Columbian Dyip on October 26. The Elite close the eliminations against the Fuel Masters on November 4.
Blackwater center John Paul Erram said they will have to take care of business in order to secure one of the top four spots which has a twice-to-beat advantage heading into the playoffs.
"We just need to rest for the weekend and then be back and just focus again when we return to practice next Monday," stressed the 6-foot-8 Erram, who had 13 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Magnolia.