MERALCO and Phoenix square off once more on Friday with the winner advancing to the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Bolts and the Fuel Masters clash at 7 p.m. at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The seventh-seed Bolts arranged a winner-take-all match for a semifinal berth after a 90-74 win over the second-seed Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Meralco coach Norman Black is not celebrating the 16-point victory that only forced a knockout game for a semifinal seat.
“It’s just one game and we need two. They (Phoenix) fought very hard to get that twice-to-beat and this is the reason why. We still have to go out and win one more game to make it to the semifinals,” Black said.
One of the most prolific scoring teams in the league, Phoenix was limited to the lowest point output since head coach Louie Alas took over the Fuel Masters this season.
While he was satisfied with the team’s defense on Wednesday, Alas admitted the Fuel Masters hope to regain their offensive rhythm on Friday night.
“We can’t buy a basket sa outside. I guess mas gusto ng Meralco… Pero defensively, nakita nyo naman. The score is 35-33 so meaning, both teams played excellent defensive. I think our problem is our offense,” Alas said.
Alas said he once again expects stiff competition from Meralco being a runner-up in the Governors’ Cup for two straight Governors’ Cups.
“As I’ve said, and advantage lang namin is twice to beat. Good thing, it’s up to us to figure it out ‘yung advantage na ‘yun. Pero tama yung sinabi mo (Meralco’s experieince. Advantage lang talaga namin ‘yun (twice-to-beat),” Alas said.