Jojo Lastimosa commends TNT defense for shutting down hardworking Meralco
ANTIPOLO CITY — Coach Jojo Lastimosa lauded TNT for the way it was able to limit Meralco’s offense in Game 1 of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Friday.
Billed as a matchup between their offense against the Bolts’ defense, the Tropang Giga succeeded on both ends of the floor and took a 110-80 victory to gain a headstart in the best-of-five affair at Ynares Center here.
“We know Meralco is a very hardworking team and nobody can outwork them. And if we can match their energy and intensity, we should be okay,” Lastimosa said.
“I know we can score and we can get some points everywhere, but the concern is that we can match up with their defense,” he added.
TNT raced to a 31-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, not only due to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s all-around contributions but also limiting Meralco to just 33 percent from the field.
The Tropang Giga showed no letdown and the lead slowly increased until the end.
“In the first half, (Meralco) shot 36 percent and I was surprised because that was a pretty good defensive job because we surrendered about 46 percent in the eliminations,” said Lastimosa.
Lastimosa also thought that Meralco came in with weary bodies since it had to go through a tough overtime encounter with Magnolia last Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum to make it to the Final Four.
“It looks like Meralco’s lacking a little bit of energy and it was maybe an emotional victory for them and maybe they’re in a little bit of high so there’s a lot of reason,” the TNT mentor observed, adding that he expects Meralco coach Norman Black to make significant adjustments in Game 2 on Sunday.
“He knows how to adjust in this kind of situation.”
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