MERALCO coach Norman Black said the Bolts’ tiring stint in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup is not an excuse for a loss to Blackwater upon their return to the PBA on Friday.
Playing their first game since a fourth-place finish in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup in Thailand, Meralco couldn't end its Governors Cup struggles as it slumped to a fourth straight defeat, 94-91, at the hands of the in-form Elite.
But Black said representing the country in the continental club tournament was a sacrifice the Bolts were willing to make, regardless the cost.
“No excuses,” Black said. “We were tasked to represent the country and play in the tournament and that’s what we did. We understand that it’s in the middle of the PBA season and it’s a little bit difficult playing five games in six days, and then coming back here and play back-to-back.
"That’s just the way it is. I’m not going to make any excuses. We played well enough to win the game. Certainly had our chances,” said Black.
Despite training by 13 points, Meralco came back and seized a 74-64 lead in the stretch only to see Mac Belo and Paul Zamar hit big threes to give Blackwater the lead.
Black said Allen Durham’s missed free throw late in the game proved costly.
“Maybe if we had hit that foul shot, it would have helped a bit. It could have given us the lead and put a little more pressure on them,” said Black.
“Tough loss. It was a game we could have won. Give credit to Blackwater, they hit big shots down the stretch, two, three-point shots to win the game. We had our opportunities,” said Black.
“They also stepped up and made the shots when it counted so they deserve a lot of credit,” the Meralco coach added.