RICKY Dandan learned the experience of coaching a PBA team the hard way after his debut for the Kia Picanto ended up on a sour note with a 124-77 loss to the Magnolia Hotshots in Wednesday's Philippine Cup game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But Kia committed 11 turnovers in the third against Magnolia's pressure defense even as Paul Lee went on a shooting clinic by scoring all 13 points in the period to.
There were promising signs that Dandan would end up on the winning side after the Picanto took a slim lead at the half, only to see the Hotshots turn the tide in the third quarter to improve to 2-1 after three games in the season's first conference.
"I feel that I have been coaching here forever. It's tiring, I feel very tired," Dandan admitted after the game. "I tried to encourage our guys to make a comeback, tried to use the line-up obviously to no avail. But we have to move on."
Kia absorbed its 15th consecutive loss, the longest since a similar skid marred the campaign of the Welcoat Dragons in the 2007-08 season.
The Picanto actually started out with a 9-2 lead, then overcame a six-point deficit in the second quarter to take a 49-47 halftime lead behind the efforts of Rashawn McCarthy, Jackson Corpuz and veteran Jay-R Reyes.
"I don't know what happened. I can't explain it," Dandan said. "From my recollection, we played according to plan in the first two quarters, only to suddenly play differently in the third."
Dandan will get another shot at a first coaching win on Sunday when the Picanto face the Alaska Aces at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. (JT)