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Chongson downplays Tanduay's Game 2 rout as memories of 2009 UAAP finals defeat still linger

By Ivan Saldajeno

BIÑAN—Tanduay may be the new "kings of do-or-die games" in the PBA D-League.

But for Coach Lawrence Chongson, doing a comeback from a twice-to-beat disadvantage in a finals series is tougher than what everyone thinks.

Chongson downplayed the Rhum Masters' rout of the Phoenix Accelerators in Game 2 of the Foundation Cup finals at the Alonte Sports Arena on Tuesday night and expressed awareness that the latter will bounce back in the rubber match on Thursday night at the said venue.

"All we managed was [to] tie the series. Phoenix is a dangerous [team]. Ngayon pa lang namin sila tinalo nitong conference na ito, pero I'll take it," Chongson told a group of sportswriters after the 89-75 blowout.

[Related Story: Tanduay spoils Phoenix's D-League grand slam bid, forces Foundation Cup finals decider]

Chongson also downplayed the psychological edge the said victory meant for them as he remembered one time in his coaching career when he was in the same situation.

"Ayaw kong laruin yan. Ayaw naming magpadala sa ganoon.... It reminded me of the 2009 UAAP [Finals]. We lost Game 1. Then we won by 20 points. But yung Game 3, we lost it also. Sana huwag mag-deja vu. Sana this time around, seven years after, iba naman ang maging resulta," said the former UE coach, whose squad led by current Rain Or Shine star Paul Lee lost to Ateneo in the said series. Val Acuña, who was also part of the said UE team, is with Tanduay too.

In his general assessment of the win, he answered, "Itong laro na ito ay testament na habang may buhay, may pag-asa."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno