Magnolia import Romeo Travis was clearly unhappy with the way the Hotshots began their title defense in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday.
After building a 16-point lead and staying ahead for most of the game against Meralco, Magnolia collapsed and let the Bolts pull the rug underneath them in a fourth quarter that Travis said was marked with "selfish" basketball.
"We stopped doing the things that got us the 16-point lead. We stopped playing defense, we stopped sharing the ball. The ball starts sticking. We started playing iso ball and that's what happens," he said.
Meralco dished out more assists than Magnolia, 25-20, and decisively won the battle on the glass, 56-42, to completely stifle the efforts of the import and FIBA World Cup returnees Paul Lee (20 points, 8-for-16 shooting) and Mark Barroca (18 points, seven rebounds, 7-for-15 clip).
"Their experience (from the World Cup) should help them personally but I don't know if it helps the team. We just need to play better as a team. A lot of things we did do was individual and we played selfishly offensively and defensively," said Travis, who finished with an all-around line of 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals.
"The things that we needed to do, we didn't do. We didn't run our plays right, we didn't run our defensive assignments correctly and that's what happens when you don't execute offensively and defensively, you're going to lose," he added.
Despite the bad start, Travis still sees good things shaping up for Magnolia, but said that it will depend on how they respond to such losses.
"We're going to win a championship," said Travis. "We lost three games [in the 2018 Governors' Cup] so losses happen. It's just how you recover from them. We just got to bounce back from every loss."
"Every loss can be a lesson. Don't just lose for no reason. If you lose and you learn something, that's okay. But if you lose and you don't learn anything, that's a true loss," added the returning import.
Magnolia will have a chance to bounce back on Friday when it faces NorthPort, which won its first game against Rain or Shine.
"You never want to lose in a short conference like this. Every win is important and it's very hard to start with a loss. But hopefully, we bounce back next week," Travis said.