import Tony Bishop scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in their 115-110 loss
to Barangay Ginebra on Easter Sunday. — PBA IMAGES
By Olmin Leyba
FALLING to a precarious 3-2 situation against nemesis Barangay Ginebra further strengthened Meralco’s resolve to push harder and save its fourth attempt at a breakthrough Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup diadem.
“It takes four wins to win a championship and they only won three games so obviously, I’m not giving up, my players aren’t giving up,” said defiant Bolts coach Norman Black, whose troops go all out for the equalizer in tomorrow’s Game 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We still have a chance to tie the series so we’ll work hard the next couple of days to try to fix some of our mistakes (in Game 5).”
The Gin Kings pushed the Bolts to the brink with a 115-110 victory on Easter Sunday, following up on their series-tying 95-84 romp in Game 4 last Wednesday.
The Justin Brownlee-led crowd darlings fired a franchise record-matching 16 triples to gain the upper hand against the Bolts in the pivotal fifth match witnessed by a pandemic-high of 18,251 spectators.
“Amazing shooting game by Ginebra,” noted Mr. Black of their rivals’ 40-of-78 (51.3%) field goal clip and 16-of-34 (47.1%) three-point marksmanship.
“There were a lot of times when we actually played decent defense but they were still able to knock down their threes. It’s hard to beat a team that shoots like that.”
Mr. Black underscored the importance of executing their defensive rotations better next time if they want to extend the series to a do-or-die Game 7.
“We seemed to be one rotation late a lot of times against the offense of Ginebra. We really have to work on that,” he said.
Knowing fully well the Bolts’ fighting spirit and capabilities, the Gin Kings are staying on an even keel and firmly fixed on the task at hand.
“It’s very tough closing out games so for us, we won’t look back or look forward, focus lang sa Game 6 and we’ll see what happens,” said Ginebra star Scottie Thompson, who went a rebound shy of a triple-double in helping the team to its third win with his 19-9-11 outing in Game 5.