Contender tag on Meralco 'a little bit premature,' says Black | Inquirer Sports

Contender tag on Meralco ‘a little bit premature,’ says Black

/ 08:47 PM March 11, 2016

Meralco coach Norman Black. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Meralco coach Norman Black. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Just like last game, Meralco’s offense proved to be its downfall in the clutch.

“Our outside shooting really let us down in the second half,” said coach Norman Black on the heels of the Bolts’ 104-99 defeat to NLEX on Friday. “We really need that because our import gets a lot of attention in the paint. We actually are making our perimeter shots in the first half, but in the second half, our shots wouldn’t fall.”

That offensive drought has twice caught Meralco at a bad time, with NLEX unleashing a 14-2 blast early in the fourth from which the Bolts could no longer recover from. Now, they are on a two-game slide in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

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READ: PBA: NLEX sends Meralco crashing to 2nd straight loss

But the change in the Bolts’ fortunes won’t affect the way Black coaches and treats the game.

“My approach to coaching is the same as if we won five straight games. You go back to practice, you work hard, and you try to win the next game. There’s no solution that pop out of the sky when you lose. You treat the game the same way,” he said.

Knowing the aspects of their performance that lead to their undoing, that’s what Black wants to focus on in training.

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“We need to work on our outside shooting. We committed too many turnovers. We gave up too many offensive rebounds. There’s some things that you try to improve on in practice so we can try to get the next win,” said Black.

READ: PBA: San Miguel halts Meralco’s unbeaten run anew

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He also defrayed any talks of Meralco being a contender this conference especially after a blistering 5-0 start.

“To be honest, I think everybody is shocked that we were 5-0, so we’re not the best team in the league. We have improved a lot and we’re trying to get better, but to say we’re the favorites at this point is maybe a little bit premature,” he said. “Coming off a 1-10 conference, you have to be happy with what we’ve shown in improvement, but to call us contenders after losing two games might be a little bit premature.”

At this point, Black is keeping his focus on stirring the Bolts to the playoffs.

“What I really want to focus on is to make it to the playoffs, winning against Blackwater and Mahindra, and getting seven wins. After that, we’ll face Alaska and Ginebra. Whatever’s in front of us, that’s what I want to focus on.”

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“All I see is we lost two games in a row, try to regroup, and try to win our next game on Friday.”

TAGS: Meralco, NLEX, READ, run

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