MERALCO coach Norman Black admitted not being happy with officiating early in the team’s Smartbro-PBA Philippine Cup game against San Miguel, but stressed the Bolts’ 101-85 loss was more about them being outplayed by the reigning champions.
The multi-titled mentor initially had reservations about the way the game was called in the first half which ended with both teams tied at 47. But he saw the Bolts fall apart in the last two quarters when they were outscored by the Beermen, 54-38.
“We got outplayed in the second half and when that happens, I don’t think we have the right to complain about the referees,” said Black afterwards.
Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos led San Miguel’s second-half charge. Cabagnot had 12 of his team-high 18 points in the final quarter, while Santos banged in seven points in the third period shortly after he was 'posterized' by Meralco rookie Chris Newsome with a spectacular one-handed slamdunk off a fastbreak play.
“Ngiti pa rin ako,” said Santos when asked what went through his mind shortly after he was dunked over by the high-flying Newsome, whose shot Santos had earlier blocked.
The San Miguel forward finished with 16 points – 11 in the second half – and 10 rebounds.