MERALCO coach Norman Black rued the poor shooting of the Bolts in a 91-87 loss to Barangay Ginebra in Game One of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well today particularly from three-point land," said Black after a game that saw the Bolts waste a 10-point third-quarter lead. "We normally shoot about 37 percent and tonight, we shot about 21 or in the low 20s."
Meralco went up, 61-51, in the third quarter thanks to a three-pointer by Raymond Almazan. That turned out to be one of the few times the Bolts found the mark from beyond the three-point arc.
The Bolts only shot 7-of-32 from the threes, with the usual reliable Baser Amer and Bong Quinto shooting just 1-of-5 from threes each, and Allein Maliksi missing all five of his three-point attempts.
“Bong didn’t shoot the ball very well. Baser was 2 for 10, Maliksi was 0 for 5, and Bong Quinto was 1 for 5. Those are pretty much my best shooters percentage-wise. So the fact that they couldn’t make shots hurt us,” said Black.
Allen Durham and Chris Newsome were the only Meralco players who consistently found their mark, and the two even had the Bolts leading briefly, 87-86, in the endgame before Ginebra import Justin Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar took over late.
Black emphasized the need of the Bolts to shoot the ball from the outside well because of Ginebra’s ability to defend inside by its sheer size.
“Ginebra does a good job of clogging the paint defensively. They want you to shoot from the outside. Normally, we do a very good job of shooting at the high percentage. But today, we did not,” Black said.
“I thought that hurt us a great deal. Even if we had some open looks, we just couldn’t make it,” he added.