Meralco tries to zero in on Gov Cup finals
MOVING closer to getting back to the finals is what’s on the mind of Meralco as it shoots for a commanding 2-0 lead when it meets Star again in their best-of-five semifinals duel in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
The Bolts are eyeing to keep their edge, while the Hotshots look to equalize when they collide in Game 2 at 7 p.m. today at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Meralco coach Norman Black expects the series to stay defensive-oriented just like how the opener unfolded.
“It’s once again going to be a defensive struggle. It always is against Star,” said Black. “It will be an even tougher grind for both teams as the series goes.”
After starting out flat and trailing by 17 points early in Game 1, Meralco, just like in some of its previous victories, slowly but surely woke up and willed its way towards a come from behind 72-66 victory over Star in the opening game of the series Sunday night to draw first blood.
The Bolts only scored seven points in the opening quarter and still trailed by nine with under four minutes remaining but their stingy defense and clutch play paved way for their comeback win.
Just like Black, Star also anticipates continued struggles on the offensive end for both teams as it is clear to see what side of the floor is both teams’ main priority.
“It’s all about defense talaga sa series na ‘to,” said Star veteran forward Marc Pingris. “Sana may natutunan na kami after Game 1 para makuha namin naman ‘yung susunod na games.”
Meralco’s defense held star scoreless in the last three minutes and 44 seconds of Game 1, allowing it maneuver and snatch the win.
On the other side of the bracket, TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra just started their own best-of-five semis war.
The No. 2 Tropang Texters and the No.3 Gin Kings are currently duking it out in Game 1 of their affair, as of this report.