By Nick Giongco
BOCAUE, Bulacan – Head coach Norman Black knew exactly what caused Meralco’s power outage against Barangay Ginebra during Game Five of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals Sunday night before more than 36,000 fans at the Philippine Arena.
As early as the first quarter, there were tell-tale signs that the Bolts were in trouble, insists Black, whose team had clawed back from a 0-2 series deficit before the Gin Kings took the driver’s seat back with an 85-74 win.
Chris Newsome, who has been making heads turn for the team, found himself in foul trouble early, while Black couldn’t get much-needed support from his bench as Baser Amer was having difficulties dealing with LA Tenorio.
“Chris Newsome was in foul trouble right from the beginning of the game, which hurt us an awful lot because he’s been a key player for us. Baser has been struggling with LA and he’s been struggling the entire series,” said Black.
Asked about the atmosphere of playing in a venue for the first time, Black swears the different setting and backdrop wasn’t an issue at all although he points out that it wasn’t new for Ginebra.
“Ginebra has played here before so they know pretty much what it feels like to play here in Philippine Arena. We never played here before so it’s new for us, but that’s no excuse.”
“We’re professionals and we’re assigned to play in this gym,” he said, brushing off suggestions that the lights and the ambience played a factor in Meralco’s defeat.