IT’s another out-of-town game, but hopefully a different result this time.
That’s what Meralco is eager to achieve as it tangles with powerhouse Barangay Ginebra on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Coming off a disappointing 107-79 beating at the hands of Rain or Shine in a fight-marred game last Saturday in Davao, the Bolts try to get back on the winning track to gain a piece of fifth spot with Talk ’N Text and Globalport, which both sport 4-3 win-loss cards.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in a match preceded by a matchup between NLEX and Blackwater.
“We just have to come out and give a consistent effort for forty-eight minutes with dedication on the defensive end of the court,” said Bolts coach Norman Black, whose team allowed the Elasto Painters to make five triples in the third quarter that hastened their downfall.
“The effort we displayed versus ROS is just not acceptable,” the multi-titled American mentor added.
Standing in their way to snapping a two-game skid, however, are the Kings, who are also hoping to bounce back after a narrow defeat.
Ginebra displayed its trademark never-say-die attitude when it fought back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit before falling to sister team San Miguel Beer, 79-77, last Sunday.
“We will have our hands full going up against a Ginebra team that is loaded in all positions,” said Black, who draws strength from Cliff Hodge, Jared Dillinger, and Mark Macapagal anew. “But I know that the ball is round for both teams so if we come out and play with desire, anything can happen.”
The Kings, with five wins in seven games to show, are gunning for solo third spot that would also move them a half-game behind leaders Alaska and San Miguel.
“We need to be ready for a desperate and aggressive Meralco team,” said Kings coach Jeff Cariaso, who counts on a powerhouse roster led by twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar. “We cannot be outworked and outhustled or it will be a long night for us.”
“We did a lot of talking these last few days. Now we need to walk the talk,” the former Tim Cone disciple was quick to add.