Black disappointed, claims sluggish start cost the Bolts in Game 5

October 23, 2017

BOCAUE - Meralco coach Norman Black expressed disappointment over his team's sluggish start that forced them to play catch up for most of Game 5 that resulting in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel taking a 3-2 lead in the PBA Governors' Cup Finals.

The Bolts fell behind 33-15 in the second quarter but charged back in the third behind Best Import Allen Durham's 11 of 27 points in the period.

But they eventually fall victim to foul trouble and key Ginebra baskets down the stretch to suffer an 85-74 defeat in front of 36,445 fans at the Philippine Arena here.

Greg Slaughter and Justin Brownlee made key baskets during the breakaway even as Meralco failed to score a field goal after trailing 74-70 with over six minutes remaining.

"I thought Ginebra was well-prepared, they came out very aggressive right from the start of the game," Black said. "They started out Greg Slaughter so they're a lot bigger in their line-up and I didn't think that we reacted very well to it.

"Scottie and LA were pressing us in the first quarter, defensively. I thought it took us out of our offense and we didn't respond to it. After a while we got our bearings but every time that we were able to get our bearings, we ended up getting in foul trouble. We had to take key players off the court because of fouls and they will pull away.

"We had to work so hard to keep getting back in the game and they will pull away again," added Black, whose Bolts hope to force a deciding seventh game Wednesday at the same venue.

Durham got some support from Garvo Lanete and Anjo Caram while veteran Reynel Hugnatan was still consistent despite a dip in production. However, point guard Baser Amer, Chris Newsome and Jared Dillinger continued their struggles in the series.

Amer was held to four points and five assists, Newsome fouled out with just five points and Dillinger shot just 2-of-12 from the field while scoring six points. (JT)