Game Today (Smart Araneta)
7 p.m. – Meralco
vs TNT KaTropa
Meralco, a team that was given little chance in this semifinals with TNT KaTropa, shoots for its first finals berth as it tries to eliminate the top seeded squad in Game 4 of their best-of-5 series in the PBA Governors’ Cup tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The game is set at 7 p.m.
The team of coach Norman Black is fresh from a record-setting performance as the Bolts are a win away from clinching a finals berth following a thrilling 119-113 win over the Texters two days ago.
In that game, Meralco converted a franchise record 17 triples (out of 28 attempts), eclipsing the previous team mark of 14 two seasons ago.
Import Allen Durham recorded 23 points and 11 rebounds, while veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan had 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the three-point territory.
Aside from Hugnatan’s five triples, Jimmy Alapag, Jonathan Uyloan and Cliff Hodge each had three treys, rookie Baser Amer two and Durham one.
“I consider it a great team effort. The contribution from so many people, we needed their contribution to get this win,” said Black. “We caught TNT on a good night for us, we matched everything that they did offensively and defensively.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of my players for getting over the hump. This is a crucial win for us to have a chance to get to the finals,” added Black, whose team likewise took Game 2 (106-91).
Alapag, who played 12 seasons with TNT, is now two triples shy of tying the league record of 1,242 set by ex-pro Allan Caidic.
In comparison, TNT had 12 triples on 27 attempts.
Black expects TNT to bounce back and said it will be about being prepared for that figh back by his former team that he led to the 2013 Philippine Cup title.
“It’s not over yet, we need to win one more. But it’s a big step to get to the finals. We need another effort like this to make us realize our dream to reach the championship. Why not dream big? Why not think big?” said Black.
TNT KaTropa, which has missed the services of Asian reinforcement Mike Madanley from Syria (back spasm) and Ryan Reyes (viral infection), will rely anew on Jayson Castro, who had 28 points in Game 3, as well as Larry Fonacier, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kelly Williams, import Mychal Ammons, and rookies Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa. (Waylon Galvez)