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Fatigue not a factor for Bolts, Black insists

Meralco head coach Norman Black | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines — There are no excuses in going down 0-2 in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals for Meralco head coach Norman Black.

Neither fatigue was to blame for their meltdown against Ginebra last Sunday. After all, both teams were dealing with fatigue from the out-of-town series opener last week.

“We’re both dealing with the same situation,” offered Black. “We both travelled to Lucena City and we both had to travel back right after the game.”

"I’m a former player. I’m not going to make excuses. You are what you are on the basketball court,” he said. “You go out there and produce — and if you produce well, you win.”

“If you don’t, you lose,” he explained.

The Bolts looked like they had Barangay Ginebra all figured out last Sunday. But the Gin Kings mounted a furious rally in the final five minutes of the game courtesy of LA Tenorio.

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“It’s tough,” Black admitted. “We know what it’s like to be down 2-0 and most of the time the teams that were down 2-0 did not bounce back to win a championship.”

But there’s no conceding in the Grand Slam coach yet. Hope springs eternal for him and the Bolts as he looks to tap into the inspiration brought by an improbable turnaround courtesy of the same franchise he once played for and coached.

“There are instances when teams were down 3-0 and came back and won,” Black said. "We saw San Miguel do it recently so it is possible.”

Black was referring to the Beermen’s title run in the All-Filipino conference in 2016. Buried in a 0-3 rut, Leo Austria and his deep squad turned the tables on the Alaska Aces to win four straight en route to the championship.

For the Bolts’ case, they’re looking to avoid a giving up three straight games and eke out a first win. They will try to do so when the series resumes 7 p.m. tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Until they win four games, we'll be out there fighting,” he closed.

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