Coach Norman Black conceded that Meralco simply had no answers for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s hot shooting which played a huge role in his team’s 115-110 defeat and a 3-2 deficit in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Bolts gave up more than 100 points for the first time in the series as the Gin Kings shot 51 percent from the field while making 16 triples during the contest held Sunday, April 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Meralco did rally in the fourth, pulling within 98-97 with less than five minutes left after trailing by 14, but Ginebra made timely baskets courtesy of Christian Standhardinger and Scottie Thompson to take another win.
“It was an amazing shooting game by Ginebra,” Black said after emerging from the dugout. “I thought there were a lot of times that we actually played decent defense, but they were still able to knock down their threes.
“It’s hard to beat a team that shoots like they shot tonight. We did do well offensively in the second half but Standhardinger hit a couple of crucial shots there in the endgame that really helped Ginebra. So we actually fought back, but it wasn’t enough.”
Meralco had some good productions from Chris Newsome and Aaron Black, but import Tony Bishop was held to just four points in the first half which also contributed to Ginebra’s 54-43 halftime lead.
But Bishop ended up scoring 30 after waxing hot in the second half, particularly in the fourth when the Bolts made their run after being down 96-82.
“He’s our import, and he scored just four points in the first half,” Black lamented. “So it’s hard for our locals to make up that amount, especially when you’re going up against Justin (Brownlee).
“So yeah, we struggled a little bit in the first half maybe because of the lack of production coming from Tony. But he tried to make up for it in the second half,” added Black.
Game 6 is set Wednesday, still at the Big Dome, with Meralco looking to spoil Ginebra’s potential championship party and force a deciding seventh game.