Paolo Taha dropped a career-best 31 points during Game 4 of the the semifinal series between NorthPort and Brgy. Ginebra, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite the timely explosion from the 29-year old former Gin King, the Batang Pier absorbed their 3rd straight setback after winning the opener to formally bow out of contention from the season-ending conference.
The 29th overall pick in the 2014 draft carried the fight for the Pido Jarencio-mentored squad in the 2nd half by scattering 21 points in the 3rd period alone as the Batang Pier cut a 17-point deficit to only 11 going into the payoff period.
Brgy. Ginebra chief playmaker LA Tenorio, however, took matters into his own hands by scoring 13 of his 19 markers in the final frame to put the game away for good.
“We gave our best tonight kaso yun lang talo. At least, we were in the semis although we fell short. I’m proud of my team and my coaches. No one expected us to be here but we are here. Although masakit, we will take it,” said Taha shortly after the match.
“Credit to my teammates. They were trying to find me. I was open. Good thing I was making the shots. I’m trying to be aggressive kasi nga siyam lang kami and then every other day yung game, coming from back-to-back-to-back-to-back knockout games. With nine players, it’s tough pero we battled and fell short. But we lost to a great team in Ginebra. I’m proud of my team right now,” he added.
The 5th year pro also acknowledged Brgy. Ginebra veterans Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio whom he considers as his mentors and role models.
“Kuya Mark and Kuya LA are really close to me. They give me advice every time on and off the court. Sila yung role models ko sa PBA. Sila yung tinitingala ko kasi I was teammates with them,” said Taha.
“Siyempre, nakita ko kung paano sila as a person, as a professional. I admire them as a person and as a basketball player. I respect them. Thankful ako na nandoon sila to give me advices,” he added.