NORMAN Black took note of the solid showings of Kelly Nabong and Jonthan Grey in GlobalPort’s 107-88 blowout win over Meralco on Sunday night, but didn’t necessarily believe that the two came out to prove a point against their former team.
Kelly Nabong had 17 points, 17 boards, and three blocks, while Grey added 24 points in 22 minutes off the bench to lead the Batang Pier to their third win in four games to move them back to an even 3-3 win-loss record.
Asked if he left the two standouts were extra motivated to perform well against their former team, Black said they were simply motivated to play for the Batang Pier.
“Yeah, they both played really well tonight,” Black said. “They played well for their team. Jonathan scored a lot of points. Kelly grabbed a lot of rebounds and he also made some shots for them. They were very good tonight.”
Nabong, particularly, could have some extra motivation after a commotion with former Meralco assistant coach Jimmy Alapag last season led to the Filipino-American big man’s suspension and, eventually, his exit at Meralco.
Nabong appeared to make it known to the Bolts. Whenever he would make a basket early in the game, the 6-foot-6 slotman would let out a shriek in front of the Meralco bench.
But Black shook his head as he shrugged off the apparent taunts by his former ward.
“I'm way, way above that,” Black insisted. “I've been involved in a lot of games in the PBA. It's just one of them. And you have to talk to him about that.”
Black is more concerned of the Bolts’ sluggish showing against the Batang Pier in a game where they trailed by as many as 29 points on the way to suffering their worst defeat of the conference.
“It’s a very poor performance on the part of the Meralco team and a little bit embarrassing to be honest with you, the way we played tonight,” Black said. “I thought we got manhandled by Global and we didn't really respond very well.”
“We got killed on the boards tonight again and if we don't control the middle of the court, we're not gonna win very many games,” he added. “So that's something we really have to work on. We have to become better at getting our defensive rebounds so we can get out there and run and get some easy baskets cause tonight we were pretty much dominated inside.”