Black hopes struggling Bolts ‘get better’ during long break
Meralco, long considered as a championship caliber team in the PBA Governors’ Cup, has hit a little bump at the start of the conference.
The Bolts fell to 1-2 after their disappointing 80-72 loss to Alaska Friday at Mall of Asia Arena, and head coach Norman Black expressed his concern.
“It’s always a concern when you’re losing but its part of the job,” said Black, who led Meralco to two straight finals appearances in 2016 and 2017 only to lose to Ginebra in both occasions.
Black, though, is looking forward to nearly a month-long break between his team’s loss to the Aces and their next match against Phoenix.
Meralco has one of the weirdest schedules in the PBA due to the league taking a break to occupy Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers but Black hopes to use the long layoff to improve the Bolts.
“We have, whew, three weeks off, three and a half weeks off, but before that we had three games in one week,” said Black. “Scheduling was not perfect but at the same time we just have to get better during the break.”
Black, though, is confident his team can figure out its early struggles with two-time Best Import Allen Durham leading the way.
Durham wasn’t an exactly an instant remedy for Meralco in his first few games with the team with the Bolts going 2-3 to begin the 2016 Governors’ Cup but the Bolts eventually gained momentum to earn the fourth seed and go into the finals.
It was also in 2016 that Durham hurt his nose but nonetheless won the individual honor en route to the championship round.
“We struggled a little bit before with AD, especially when he broke his nose,” said Black. “If I remember it correctly, he broke his nose at the beginning of the conference and as he got better, he started to heal, we started to get better as a team.”
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