ANTIPOLO—As much as the loss to Terrafirma served as a cautionary tale for his team, coach Norman Black expressed confidence that Meralco can show up and beat some of the perennial contenders in the PBA.
“We can lose to Terrafirma, but we can also beat the best teams in the league,” Black said after Bolts’ 125-99 victory over the Blackwater Bossing on Saturday at Ynares Center here that enabled them to bounce back from last week’s shock defeat at the hands of the Dyip.
Meralco improved to 3-1 in the season-ending Governors’ Cup after the lopsided result against Blackwater to set itself up for a busy February that could determine its chances of making the quarterfinals or gaining a twice-to-beat advantage given to the top four teams.
Next for Meralco is San Miguel Beer on February 9 before taking on TNT on Feb. 17, NLEX on Feb. 23 and Magnolia on Feb. 26. And when March begins, Meralco will be put to another test against defending champion and recent Commissioner’s Cup winner Barangay Ginebra.
Of the teams included in the difficult slate, San Miguel and NLEX currently have unbeaten records, TNT totes a 3-1 record while Magnolia is still capable of turning things around despite losing its first two matches.
“We have two of the toughest teams coming up,” said Black, who is bracing for a difficult affair with a San Miguel team reinforced by import Cameron Clark and top locals June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez.
“We’ll just prepare and get ready for San Miguel. We know what we’re up against. We’re up against a powerhouse team with a very good import. We’ll be prepared,” he added.
Meralco got 24 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists from import KJ McDaniels but it was Allein Maliksi, who fired 30 points, and Anjo Caram with 18 points who delivered big in the rout of Blackwater.