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After Game 3’s rout, Norman Black wants the Bolts to avoid another sluggish start

Mar 30, 2023

With their Game Three loss to TNT in the PBA Governors Cup semifinals on Wednesday night, Meralco had a really rough time of it.

According to Coach Norman Black, the Bolts’ offense and defense both struggled.

Norman Black on the defeat in Game 3

Team made terrible three-point shots. Black believes that his team’s poor shooting, which resulted in a mediocre 15 percent three-point shooting percentage and a 36 percent field goal percentage overall, had a significant role in this game.

Meralco suffered a massive defeat, 99-80, and now trails the best-of-five series 2-1.

Meralco’s defense struggled to control sophomore guard Mikey Williams and import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, which did not help matters.

Williams recorded 29 points in the finale, plus six three-pointers, while Hollis-Jefferson counted 40 points and clutched 13 rebounds.

The Tropang Giga, who led 56-30 at halftime, got things going early thanks to the two.

According to Black, they played well tonight, particularly the two players Si Jefferson and Mikey Williams, who both made good baskets.

In the first quarter, they were able to quickly establish their game. Black saw that their import had a strong start and essentially controlled the first half. The squad attempted to rally a little bit in the second half, but they were simply too far behind to make up ground.

Game Four is scheduled for Friday at the Big Dome, and Meralco is aiming to survive.

And in order for that to happen, according to Black, the Bolts—including import KJ McDaniels, who closed with 30 points and 10 rebounds, however 19 of those points came in the second half — need to play better as a team.

TNT vs Meralco Game Highlight

Returning to being dominant, TNT last Sunday, which was just the second time they lost this league, saw their ten-game winning run stopped. They only allowed the helpless Bolts to make 5-of-33 shots from beyond the arc, as if they took the defeat personally and decided to vent their frustration on them.

“It’s a tough one for us,” Bolts coach Norman Black acknowledged after lamenting his team’s sluggish start and failure to convert on their clear-cut opportunities.

Allein Maliksi, who made just one of his fourteen shots, exemplified the Bolts’ offensive shortcomings. McDaniels finished with 30 points but had to struggle for each bucket after scoring 39 in Game 2.

Devout Muslim and Tropang Giga import Hollis-Jefferson has observed Ramadan for the past week, which means he is fasting from sunrise to sunset.

If he was feeling lethargic from the fast, it did not come over in his 41 minutes of playing time, 40 points, and 13 rebounds.

With a victory on Friday, TNT may move to the finals, and Lastimosa is aware that it will be a close match.

Williams emphasizes that the Bolts will be aggressive and anticipates them to repeat their performance from Game 2. As you can see in Game 2, after they scored, they immediately moved the ball back down during the transition. Therefore, that is where they primarily scored in the previous game.

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