AN 0-2 series deficit is a tough hole to get out of, but it's not packing time, yet, for Meralco.
History shows, it can still be done.
Veteran coach Norman Black remains upbeat about the chances of his team against defending champion Barangay Ginebra despite losing the first two games of the PBA Governors Cup Finals.
Black noted how teams such as San Miguel, and yes, Ginebra itself, were able to extricate themselves from even tighter situations to pull it off and eventually, win the championship.
“There were instances where teams are down 3-0 and came back and win (the championship). We saw San Miguel do it recently over Alaska, so it’s possible,” said the champion coach after the Bolts lost two in a row in this season’s finals.
Black obviously was referring to the Beermen’s magnificent comeback from 0-3 down in the Philippine Cup finals last year to beat the Aces in a feat that was dubbed a ‘Beer-acle.’
Ginebra also did the unthinkable in the 1991 First Conference title series against Formula Shell when it climbed out of a deep 3-1 hole to snatch the title, the comeback capped with the fadeaway, game-winner by veteran guard Rudy Distrito.
“It’s tough. We know what it’s like to be down 2-0. And there are teams who are down 2-0 and bounced back to win the championship,” added Black.
TnT Katropa (2003 Philippine Cup) and Barangay Ginebra in 2007 were some of the teams that managed to survive 0-2 finals deficits to emerge champions. The Katropa did it by beating Coca-Cola four straight games, so did the Kings against the Beermen.
That gives Black some confidence as the Bolts try to stay in the hunt.
“So until they (Kings) win four games, we’ll be out there fighting,” said 59-year-old Meralco coach.
Dating back to last year’s finals series of this same conference between the two teams, Ginebra has now beaten Meralco five straight times – counting their three straight wins to end the series last season and two more to open the ongoing championship duel.
The Bolts had the chance to break the losing streak, but failed to protect a 75-69 advantage midway through the final quarter of Game Two by allowing the Kings to outscore them, 14-1, heading home to suffer another loss.
“My guys came out performing better than they did in the first game. It’s just that we didn’t finish the game very well,” he admitted.
Game Three is set on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.