PBA: After 53-point effort in tuneup, Michael Qualls shut down by Meralco this time
MANILA, Philippines—Coach Norman Black was glad that Meralco was able to get a first-hand look at Rain or Shine import Michael Qualls before the two teams met on Sunday for the start of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Bolts held Qualls to just 14 points in their 105-87 win in the opener of the season-ending conference, a few days after the Elasto Painters import erupted for 53 in their tune-up game held last week at Meralco Gym in Ortigas.
“That might have been a blessing in disguise, actually,” Black said. “Because we had a chance to watch and scout him, and come up with the defense to go up against him. It worked pretty well tonight.”
No additional stats from that exhibition were available since only individual points are usually tallied in such games.
But in the game that counted in the standings, Meralco forced Qualls to miss 19 of his 22 attempts which contributed to the eventual outcome which saw the Bolts pull away in the second half.
That is why Black feels that there was no reason to be too worried.
“Anyway, that’s exhibition season,” said Black. “We beat Ginebra last year in an exhibition season, and they won the championship.
“So exhibition season doesn’t mean very much.”