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Norman Black hopes to get chance to stack players like Ginebra in off-season


Meralco head coach Norman Black would definitely welcome adding more talent to his team as the ball club’s search for its breakthrough PBA title continues,

Although he appreciates the effort his wards have given this season, the veteran mentor is very much open on loading up his roster, especially in the long off-season ahead, after bowing out of the Governors’ Cup semifinals.

The Bolts on Friday lost to TNT in Game 4, 107-92, denying the team the chance of squaring off against an old tormentor in  Ginebra.

“It would be nice,” Black said moments after the match at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “And that’s not putting my players down. I love my players. They work hard for me. They come to work every day, and they have a good attitude.”

Black said so as he felt that stacking up on more talent would help Meralco reach the level this year’s finalists have in terms of pieces.

“I always try to look at these teams,” he said.

“I try to examine them and I’d say, ‘How many of these guys play for the national team?’ And then you can pretty much figure out which teams are the most talented teams in the league.”

The Grand Slam-winning tactician even used the Kings as an example to prove his point, mentioning the addition of young guns Jamie Malonzo and Jeremiah Gray during the season that has helped the franchise greatly.

“You saw what happened this year with Ginebra, right? They picked up Gray and Malonzo in the middle of the year. That’s amazing. That can help you win a championship. That’s for sure,” said Black.

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Game 4 alone was another example. “They played really well tonight,” Black said of ex-team TNT. “Some of the shots they made were amazing shots.

“Mikey Williams played well again tonight. The import was a force. When they have everything clicking, they are a tough team. They are very difficult to beat.”

Meralco has a chance to add a quality player in the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft in September but the 65-year-old isn’t really hoping much about their chances, since they could be drafting mid to late.in the first round.

“But there seems to be a lot of talent out there this year. The only problem is, like, in our case, we have one pick. We have a first-round pick this year. So, we want to use that pick to get better,” he said.

It doesn’t help, too, that there’s no opportunity for Meralco and the other PBA teams to look out for talents such as the D-League, Black added.

“I don’t know who is going into the Draft. And it’s not like before when we can use the D-League to be able to analyze the talent because there has been no D-League. We don’t have one between now and September.”

Another roadblock in their progress, Black said, is the likelihood of top prospects eventually going to stronger and more established teams.

“But, sometimes, it’s a little bit difficult because the strong teams end up with the top picks, and end up getting stronger,” he said.

“If you want to be successful in the league, like, we don’t want to come in last place and get the first pick because that wouldn’t be good either. So… I’m sure we will probably be No. 8, or No. 9, or No. 10 this year,” he added.

“You are not going to get the most talented guy coming out of the Draft because of that. Most of the time, those picks go to the bottom teams.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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