Meralco forces deciding Game 7
BOCAUE – Before a new record crowd of 53,642, the Meralco Bolts played their hearts out and gutted it out, pulling off a coast-to-coast 98-91 win over the Barangay Ginebra Kings to force a deciding Game Seven in the PBA Governors Cup title playoff Wednesday night at the Philippine Arena here.
Coach Norman Black rotated practically just seven men who waged a gallant fight to foil the Gin Kings’ first crack at a Governors Cup title repeat.
Allen Durham, Reynel Hugnatan, Garvo Lanete, Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger, Cliff Hodge and Baser Amer fought bravely every inch of the way, forcing the do-or-die setto Friday in the same huge dome here.
“You really have to fight every second to beat them. We wanted to do that to give us a chance to do that again Friday,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“We’re now in the same situation as they are — one game to end the season. We just have to find a way to keep our guys fresh and come back to win the championship Friday,” Black added.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone offered no excuses.
“They came out strong and we just couldn’t get over the hump,” he said.
Both coaches acknowledged the key efforts of Durham, Hugnatan and Lanete in the game the Bolts led from start to finish.
The Bolts took the opening quarter at 29-17, led by as many as 20 at 44-24 and held on in the face of Ginebra’s determined chase in the second half.
“Our defense was pretty solid even us I think Ginebra found some holes in it in the second half. But for the most part, our defense was pretty solid. Offensively, Garvo (Lanete) got us to a good start from the perimeter. Reynel (Hugnatan) followed it up while AD (Durham) was still pretty solid inside the paint offensively and defensively,” Black also said.(PBA)