Black ’embarrassed’ as Meralco sorely outhustled by Ginebra anew
MANILA, Philippines — Meralco head coach Norman Black had plenty of reasons to be upset after the Bolts got walloped by Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of the Governors’ Cup Finals Wednesday night.
And it all boiled down to his players’ lack of effort.
“With the effort we displayed tonight, we didn’t deserve to win this game. I thought Ginebra outhustled us, outplayed us. I’m a little bit embarrassed with the way the team played and the effort we gave,” Black told reporters after a 94-72 loss to the Gin Kings that put the Bolts on the verge of another finals loss.
“And for me, it’s an embarrassment to the PBA that we came out and didn’t give them a better fight. These hustle stats tell the entire story. We got beat very, very badly for the second game in a row in the hustle stats, and we just have to do a much better job to represent the company and represent the league.”
Meralco couldn’t get anything offensively, shooting only 37 percent from the field, including a woeful 3-of-26 clip from long range. The Bolts also had 19 turnovers and just 13 assists.
But what really irked Black was Meralco’s poor play on the defensive end.
“We couldn’t get back on defense, we couldn’t stop them in the halfcourt. They did pretty much everything they wanted to do. As a basketball coach, I’m a little bit embarrassed by it, to be honest with you,” he said.
Allen Durham, the newly-minted three-time Best Import, led the Bolts with 21 points and 27 rebounds but even he struggled mightily going 9-of-23 from the field with six turnovers.
Raymond Almazan played through a left knee injury and managed to come away with 12 points and nine rebounds but it hardly mattered with the 6-foo-7 center not a hundred percent.
Meralco looks to stay alive on Friday night in Game 4 at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We just have to figure out a way to bounce back from this and come out and play better basketball on Friday, ’cause for me this is embarrassing tonight.”
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