MANILA, Philippines–Meralco coach Norman Black tipped his hat to TNT as the Bolts ended their Governors’ Cup—and their season—again without a championship on Friday night.
The Bolts sputtered against the top-seeded Tropang Giga, 107-92, in Game 4 of their Final Four showdown at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao in what Black felt was a tour de force by their sister team.
“This time around, I think TNT showed they deserve to be in the championship (series). I think they really outplayed us tonight,” he told reporters on his way out of the Big Dome.
“They played really well tonight. Some of the shots they made are some amazing shots. Mikey (Williams) played well again tonight [and] their import (Rondae Hollis-Jefferson) was a force.”
Meralco kept TNT within striking distance for most of the night until Williams—the reigning Scoring Champion—converted a four-point play in the final 1:43 of the contest to widen the gap to 103-92.
“You know, when they have everything clicking, they’re a tough team to beat. And they’re very difficult to beat,” Black said.
Meralco’s loss thus denied the Black and the Bolts a chance at trying to get back to their perennial Governors’ Cup tormentors, Barangay Ginebra, and hopefully tab the franchise’s first PBA title.
But that hardly matters now, according to the multi-titled coach and former import.
“The last four times (against Ginebra) are history already,” said Black.
“They showed how talented they are. They are one of the more talented teams in the league and the Finals, you’re gonna have two of the most talented teams we have in the Philippines. So they’re gonna be going up against each other, so it should be a good battle,” he added.
TNT and Ginebra slug it out in a best-of-seven finalé at Smart Araneta Coliseum beginning Easter Sunday.
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