Aaron Black made a big triple that helped lift Meralco to a 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals berth, Sunday evening.
The second-generation player drilled a three-pointer with 40 seconds to go to cap a 9-1 run. That turned an 82-79 deficit to an 88-83 lead, before ultimately clipping San Miguel, 89-86.
And for Black, that shot wasn’t from him. It was from his late grandmother who passed away just last Friday.
“That was her.
“Thankfully, nakabutas din noong dulo. We missed a couple shots late tapos nakabutas si Kuya Allein [Maliksi] tapos nakabutas din ako and we really needed that win badly,” he added.
Black will use the sadness to motivate himself and will now dedicate every effort he unleashes the rest of the season for his ‘lola’.
Meralco head coach Norman Black has missed the past four games of his squad. He is on indefinite leave since June 30 to attend to his ailing mother in the States.
“Syempre she just passed away, nami-miss na namin siya. At the same time, gusto kong i-dedicate hindi lang yung game na ito, but the rest of the season para sa kanya,” said Aaron, who finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
His grandmother was always a fan of his, and it was just unfortunate that she was not able to watch Aaron do his thing in the PBA due to the pandemic.
“She wanted to watch the games din eh. She wanted to come over and watch the game, pero at least alam kong nanonood siya from up there,” said the Ateneo product.
“Actually, gusto niya kasi kaso nag-pandemic eh, so hindi na rin siya nakapunta. Hindi na rin nagkaroon ng opportunity na pumunta siya dito, 86 na kasi siya eh, so medyo matanda na rin.”
Meanwhile, Bolts assistant coach Luigi Trillo, who’s been handling the team, wants Coach Norman to take his time.
And when it’s time, Meralco will be happy to have him back.
“We’re all playing for coach. He means a lot to our organization, been with him for eight years. He’s like a real best friend to me,” said Trillo, who is 4-1 in this stretch.
“It means a lot that we were able to win four games and have one loss. He’ll take all the time he needs there and we’ll have him back when he’s ready.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.