PBA: Meralco clamps down on Magnolia, evens semis series
MANILA, Philippines—Taking all the enemy could offer on Friday night, Meralco pulled out all the necessary stops for an 81-75 victory over top seed Magnolia to draw the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series level at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Bolts gave their fancied foes a dose of their own medicine, clamping down on the Hotshots stars all night long.
“I think we just came to the conclusion that the only way to win this series is to focus on defense on the court,” said coach Norman Black.
“I thought we also did a really good job on Mike Harris, especially in the second half, and that really helped us win,” he went on.
Import Tony Bishop Jr. led the way for the Bolts, scoring 22 points and plucking down 14 rebounds— a vast improvement from his forgettable outing in the series opener, where he only had 10 points.
“It’s very important for Tony to produce in this series and I say that because he’s playing against Mike (Harris) who’s producing every night,” Black said of his reinforcement.
Also coming through for Meralco are Chris Newsome and Aaron Black who finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively. Chris Banchero chipped in 10 more as the Meralco turns its sights on seizing control of the short series.
“We have a little bit of momentum now. But the next game is a new game, so we have to have the same intensity,” Black said of Game 3 slated this Sunday.
Harris tallied 25 points. Paul Lee added 10 more—the only local to breach double digits for Magnolia in the low-scoring affair.
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