Despite falling short of their first Finals appearance, Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black could not ask for more from his squad in their fruitful Commissioner’s Cup campaign.
Meralco completely flipped their fortune around this conference as they secured a twice-to-beat advantage with the 2nd best record in the eliminations after a dismal Philippine Cup outing where they only had 1 win to show.
“I think we’ve done better than anybody expected, including myself, of course when you work hard everyday, you’re hoping for success, asking anybody, they’re pretty surprised of Meralco this conference but at the same time it’s disappointing to lose, we had our chances today,” assessed Black.
Able to stretch their semifinals series in 5 games against a championship-caliber team like Alaska, the multi-titled coach believes they gained enough footing with the league’s best.
“Overall it was a big improvement from last conference, the Meralco team at least is more respected now because of being competitive, trying to get better, continue to try to grow as a team,” added Black, who is still aiming to steer the Bolts to a its first ever championship.
Asked if his wards overachieved, Black beg to disagree.
“I really don’t like that word too much when we keep talking about overachieving it means you didn’t achieve anything. Let’s just say the expectations probably were a lot less for our team this conference and we will probably did better than what most people thought we could do,” he shared.
For the American mentor, they just caught a bad luck in their last game with the veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag out after breaking his hand in the 1st quarter but he assures their consistency this time was no fluke.
“We made a lot further than anybody thought we could, we’re building blocks to continue getting better,” he emphasized.
Hoping to carry their momentum in the Governor’s Cup, Black already have an import for the season-ending conference as early as now. Meralco is bringing in 6-foot-4 Allen Durham, who last played for Barako Bull in 2014. – By Jason Mercene
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