SOL Mercado stressed he has to do a better job keeping his fouls at a minimum as Ginebra takes on Meralco in Game Four on Friday night, seeking to tie the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
The veteran playmaker noted that it wasn’t Meralco import Allen Durham that got him into foul trouble as he was also called for fouls against Cliff Hodge, Jimmy Alapag, and Baser Amer.
“Really, it wasn't him (Durham) that got me in foul trouble,” Mercado said at the end of Ginebra practice on Thursday.
“I kind of got myself in foul trouble.”
“Like I said, it was never just me who was defending him,” he added. “It's a collective team effort and he's the best import for the reason so it's going to take a collective team effort to guard him again. We got to find a way to stop him because he's a great player.”
Durham pumped in 36 points and 20 boards after being held to just 22 points and 15 boards in Game Two.
“We talked about, as a team, going back to our defensive identity,” Mercado said as the Gin Kings gave up over 100 points in their two losses and less than 80 points in their win in Game Two. “There's no secret to success. Defense wins championships.”
“So we'll play with a more sense of urgency,” he added. “We're going to take the challenge head on and try to get back to what we do,” Mercado said.