ANTIPOLO CITY –Magnolia Pambansang Manok sorely missed guard Justin Melton as the Hotshots suffered their second loss in the PBA Governors Cup, 94-88, at the hands of Meralco on Friday night at the Ynares Center.
Magnolia oach Chito Victolero rued the absence of the team's best perimeter defender, who he said could have helped slow down the Bolts’ Chris Newsome.
Melton was in civilian clothes watching the action on the sideline after spraining the toe on his right foot.
“He was our best match-up sana kay Newsome, but kailangan niyang magpahinga para hindi na ma-aggravate yung injury niya,” said the Magnolia coach.
Newsome was a strong presence for the Bolts, finishing with 13 points, four rebounds, and a team-best eight assists.
“They want it more, yung desire nilang Manalo talagang andun,” said Victolero.
“Talo kami sa breaks, Yung mga 50-50 balls, halos nandoon naman kami. Pero yung kailangan naming i-convert, hindi namin nako-convert, sila nako-convert nila yung mga last second shots nila,” added Victolero.
Victolero added law of averages may have also finally caught up with Magnolia, which won five straight prior to its meeting with Meralco.
“Kasama na rin yun. But you know sometimes, darating din yun,” he added.