ANTIPOLO – Meralco gave the best that TNT had to offer in the last three sections on Monday evening with a defensive click and finally defeated the KaTropa with an 89:78 victory -of-five series in Ynares Center where the Bolts return to an old nemesis in the PBA Governors' Cup final.
The Bolts began to disengage from the KaTropa powerhouse in the second quarter, with rookie Bong Quinto and importer Allen Durham doing most of the damage in the middle two quarters before getting help from Chris Newsome at victory time, as TNT who had never found answers to them.
“I have the feeling that we really threw everything on ourselves. But everyone was focused on returning to the championship, ”said coach Norman Black, when he and his charges had a third crack with crowd darling Barangay Ginebra in the past four years, hoping to be ahead this time and on Having masterpieces of heartache in the late two.
Durham was just a pair of assists who shy away from a triple double with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Newsome ended the tournament at 23, 16 of which were seen in the Bolts' full performance in the second half of the year.
But Black saved most of his praise from his young community, Quinto, who had a 19-point career night built on a highly efficient 7-for-9 clip.
"I have learned over the years that players who are versatile and can do more than one thing and play more than one position are likely to help you win games," he said. "And Bong Quinto is a good defender, he is a good shooter, he is a good assistant and he really contributed a lot to the team."
Meralco and Ginebra played in two successive classic competitions for the end of the season in 2016. The Gin Kings won both best-of-seven series in a total of 13 games. The KaTropa obtained the usual figures from the import KJ McDaniels, which had 30 points and 13 rebounds. Ray Parks had 15 points.
When asked about an enemy they lost to in twice as many meetings, Black was bold and direct.
“We have great respect for Ginebra and Tim Cone. Tim is a top league coach. But our goal is to win. It's that simple, ”said Black. "It doesn't matter who we play against. Our goal is to win one championship. We have already lost two. We only have one goal."
Meralco was a sad footnote for Ginebra, who waited eight years for a title in 2016 when Justin Brownlee hit the three-pointer on the buzzer that won everything in Game 6.
The following season, the series covered the full distance of seven games. INQ
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