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    Black hopes Meralco thrives again in familiar do-or-die situation

    Nov 16, 2018
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    SO what else is new?

    Meralco found itself in another do-or-die situation after a heart-breaker of a loss, 104-102, against Alaska in Game Three of the PBA Governors Cup at the Astrodome Thursday night.

    The Bolts now trail the Aces in the best-of-five series, 2-1, and need to clinch Game 4 on Saturday to keep alive their bid for a third straight finals appearance in the season-ending meet.

    “It’s do-or-die so we’ll just go out and play our best, and hopefully win the game,” said Meralco coach Norman Black as he kept a positive mind set about the Bolts’ chances of staying alive in the playoffs.

    But this is one familiar situation Meralco had managed to survive early on.

    The Bolts faced outright elimination early on and yet, were able to endure them six times, including two in the quarterfinals when they twice beat no. 2 seed Phoenix Fuel Masters to advance to the semis.

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    “Yeah, our back is against the wall again, so we’ll see how we respond the next game,” said Black.

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      The team would have been in a better situation had the Bolts took care of the boards against the Aces the last time.

      “We certainly had our chances to win. We just couldn’t get a rebound down the stretch, and I think that was the major difference,” Black pointed out.

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      The Bolts were clobbered off the glass by the Aces, 49-37, including 24 by import Mike Harris.

      “We were dominated under the boards, particularly Mike Harris. He came up with some crucial offensive rebounds down the stretch,” said Black. “So we have to do something with our rebounding the next game. We have to be better.”

      If there’s any consolation for Meralco, Black noted how well the team shot from the floor by going 41-of-81 for a high 50 percent shooting. The Bolts also had more assists, 26-21, and committed less turnovers, 12-15.

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      Still, a loss is a loss, said the Meralco coach.

      “It was a tough loss because it was a well-played game. But at the same time, it’s still a loss,” he said. “That’s how life goes. You can’t win them all.”

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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