PBA: Meralco kicks off grueling stretch against tough teams with crucial win

Meralco Bolts coach Norman Black.  –PBA IMAGES

Meralco Bolts coach Norman Black. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Meralco may have come close to thrashing Magnolia in Sunday’s PBA Governors’ Cup but coach Norman Black reveals there’s still a lot of work to do if the Bolts want to progress to the knockouts. with motivation.

This week will prove to be the most difficult time for the Bolts. After waging a physical fight against the Hotshots, where they won just two, 86-84, they will face Ginebra, Converge and Phoenix this weekend.

“I was going through the schedule and oh. Four games in eight days with three of the strongest teams in the league? This (winning) is really just the first step. We’re still playing Ginebra on Wednesday, Convergence on Friday and Phoenix on Sunday,” Black said at the Araneta Coliseum.

“Phoenix won today so hopefully their playoffs are really alive, so all three games will be really tough for us.”

In the first match of Sunday’s doubles, Fuel Master outlasts FiberXers, 106-103, brings they hit a record of 3-5 for the eighth seed.

Black also had some positive things to say about the tournament’s schedule, saying that every team is treated fairly to make the playing field level.

“To be fair, every team is going through some kind of tough schedule at this point and it’s mostly because of Fiba and some other activity that the PBA had to come up with this kind of schedule,” the coach said. top trainer said.

“Sometimes, if you’re doing well on a schedule like this, you don’t mind. In other words, if you’re winning, you’ll enjoy playing every other game because you already have the momentum and rhythm of the game,” he added.

That wasn’t quite the case for Meralco, who lost three of their seven games in the finals before winning. However, the victory put them ahead of Magnolia on the ladder to take sixth place.

Hotshots fell 4-4 while Bolts improved to 5-3.


Despite the win, Black said there are things he needs to do to get Meralco through a tough week. One of them is his roster rotation.

“Obviously, we have to worry about the air conditioning. I didn’t really use many players tonight so maybe next game I will have to use more players to keep everyone fresh but we just want to win tonight.”

Three players have played 32 minutes or more for Meralco. Aaron Black came on for 32 minutes while Chris Newsome played 38. However, KJ McDaniels had to play almost the whole game with 44 minutes.

Imports still finished with a double 19 points and 15 rebounds but having played most of the 4 innings his fatigue is likely to linger over the next week.

If the Bolts aim to finish the knockout round with 4th place, they will have to beat Gin Kings, who are holding 4-2.

Conveniently for Black, both teams will clash with the Commissioners Cup champions on Wednesday at the same venue.

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