PBA Finals: “Stronger” Meralco ready to challenge Ginebra anew
Paul Lintag on Jan 04, 2020 05:46 PM
(Photo by Richard Esguerra)
With another Ginebra-Meralco Finals in the PBA Governors’ Cup set, everyone has pretty much reminded the Bolts that they already lost two titles to the Gin Kings.
In the team’s first-ever Finals in 2016, the Bolts lost in six games after “The Shot” from Justin Brownlee.
One year later, Meralco lost again but this time, in front of a record Game 7 crowd and the Philippine Arena.
The Bolts are well aware of their history with the Gin Kings and they’ve had enough. Meralco wants a title bad as both teams engage in a Finals trilogy starting next week.
“While we do recognize that we lost to Ginebra twice — and we've been reminded of that over and over again — we're hoping it would be a different result this time around,” head coach Norman Black said.
“We have a different team,” he added.
Meralco still has key pieces from the previous Finals like two-time Best Import Allen Durham, Chris Newsome, and Baser Amer.
However, the Bolts have now also added players like Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, and rookie Bong Quinto.
Whether those additions lead to a title remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Meralco is a much better team now compared to 2016 and 2017.
“We're probably more balanced this team, a little bit stronger,” Coach Norman said.
“We know we're up against tough competition. The Ginebra team is not only talented, they're big and they're well-coached. But at the same time, I think we're up for the challenge and we'll be ready to go in the first game,” he added.
Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals tips off Tuesday live from the Big Dome.
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