PBA: Aaron Black continues to deliver in big moments for Meralco Bolts
Aaron Black’s game-tying shot at the buzzer that eventually contributed to Meralco’s quarterfinal victory over Magnolia in the PBA Governors’ Cup became the latest in a string of playoff moments despite being in just his third season.
Black’s off-balanced shot over Jio Jalalon forced the game into overtime before the Bolts were able to get the job done and advance to the semifinals to face their sister team TNT Tropang Giga in a best-of-five affair.
“I just try to stay locked in and make sure that I really help my team in any way I can,” Black said with a mixture of Filipino words after the grind out affair at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The southpaw guard has had a share of big moments in similar situations, at least once each year.
His coming-out party came perhaps in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Philippine Cup when the then-rookie helped Meralco overcome a twice-to-beat advantage to beat San Miguel Beer twice.
AARON BLACK BRINGS IT TO OVERTIME! ⚡️⚡️⚡️
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) March 22, 2023
Last season saw Black perform well in the Bolts’ loss to Barangay Ginebra in the 2022 Governors’ Cup Finals, scoring 24 and 25 despite losing efforts in Game 2 and Game 5.
Earlier in the 2021-22 campaign, the ex-Ateneo cager made the last 11 points as Meralco averted elimination despite being down 10 with four minutes left to beat San Miguel that forced a deciding seventh game in their Philippine Cup semis series.
His latest heroics had to be done with a degree of difficulty as Black made the shot off a broken play when Chris Newsome was forced to pass the ball from the top of the key, setting up for the shot that losing coach Chito Victolero later described as a “Hail Mary shot.”
“When I saw that [Newsome] was having a hard time, I tried to come out,” Black described before thanking the heavens above. “Thankfully, the Lord helped me get that shot off. When it went off, I felt it was good, but I wasn’t sure. We’re just happy to move on.”
Now in the semis for the sixth time in the last seven conferences, Meralco will have a quick turnaround as it faces a TNT side that topped the eliminations by winning all but one game.
“They’re a tough team, they got a lot of players that can really score the ball. So we’re gonna have our hands full on defense,” Black said.