MERALCO coach Norman Black still sees a bright future for the franchise despite its sixth place finish in the PBA Philippine Cup right in his first conference at the helm of the Bolts.
“It’s a lot of ups and downs, good moments and bad moments, but we’re hoping (to get better) because it’s a learning process and we’ll continue to improve as the year goes on,” Black said in assessing what lies ahead for the team shortly after its playoff run was cut short following its 87-69 loss to the Alaska Aces in their knockout quarterfinal match Sunday.
The Bolts were dominated by the Aces from start to finish as Meralco wilted under Alaska’s trademark backcourt pressure defense that resulted in 19 turnovers.
While the finish was three places up from the team’s previous stint in this same conference last year, Black still demands more from his players this season.
At the same time, he said everything will boil down to his ability in developing the kind of players he has and getting the right import for the team which returns to practice early January to prepare for the Commissioner’s Cup.
“The next step is to get a good import to support our players for the second and third conferences,” said Black, who hopes Meralco’s reinforcement for the mid-season conferences could be someone in the mold of the late Bobby Parks.
“I’m used to a lot of success so I can’t be happy with sixth place, but it’s an improvement from the past, so we’ll just try to work hard and try to improve the players you have, so maybe, we need somebody like a Bobby Parks,” added the 11-time champion coach.
Parks, who passed away March of last year, was a seven-time Best Import awardee, who played for Black in leading San Miguel Beer to a championship in 1987.
The Bolts, who suffered a 41-point blowout loss to the Aces early this conference, owned the distinction of ousting deposed champion Purefoods during the start of the playoffs last Tuesday.