Jul 12, 2018

Meralco moves on after another disappointing campaign, shifts focus on season-ending Governors' Cup

ANOTHER heartbreaking loss to Barangay Ginebra, another move forward-attitude for Meralco.

According to Bolts coach Norman Black, the most his team could do now is look ahead to the season-ending PBA Governors Cup after getting swept by the Kings in their Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals duel Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Just look forward to the next conference," said Black after his side absorbed a 90-104 drubbing from Ginebra.

The loss came on the heels of an 81-88 loss in the best-of-three opener just two days before and Black can't help but acknowledge Ginebra was really the better team, much like in their last two Governors Cup title duels.

"Ginebra knows how to play this," said Black after emerging from the gloomy Meralco dugout.

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"They played much better tonight," added Black. "They played well as a team, they kept their turnovers down and they played good defense. They're very deserving of this win tonight."

Indeed, Ginebra emerged with a six less turnovers than Meralco's 18 and translated those Meralco miscues into a plus-13 advantage in turnover points.

The Bolts were also limited to a 38-for-83 clip from the floor, including 8-for-24 from three-point land. In contrast, the Kings made 41 of 84 shots and went 8-for-21 from downtown.

Ginebra also pulled off 11 steals, a team-high for the season.

All those led to Ginebra easily overcoming an early 24-12 Meralco lead, take control right in the second quarter and stretch its lead to as many as 18 points, 85-67, 10:04 left.

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The Bolts mustered enough of an uprising to come within 81-87, but practically watched helplessly by as LA Tenorio and Justin Brownlee spearheaded the Kings' big finish.

"We started out pretty good, but we ended up very bad," acknowledged Black. "It was very disappointing. In fact, we couldn't move up and down the court a little bit faster, we couldn't take advantage on early offense and fastbreaks."

Black could now only prod his players to learn from another bitter experience. "That's the way it goes," he said.

After being fined P20,000 for his tirades against officiating in Game 1, Black was surprisingly cool about the referees this time.

"I will never complain about the officiating if my team didn't play well," explained Black. "My team played well last game and they didn't play well tonight, so I cannot complain about the officials. That will be unintelligent on my part. I can see things the way they are." (NC)