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Norman Black likes Meralco’s chances vs Ginebra in fourth go-around


Perhaps, the time is now.

Norman Black hopes to finally get one over counterpart Tim Cone as Meralco and Ginebra San Miguel are set to collide anew in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

“I’ve never beaten Tim before, so maybe this would be the right time to get it done,” said the Bolts head coach moments after their 94-81 win over Magnolia in Game Five of the semis, Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The coaching luminaries have battled for a championship five times in the past, beginning in the 1995 edition of the season-ending conference. And, yes, the decorated import turned mentor lost all of those battles.

The most recent of which was in the 2019 Governors’ Cup Finals, where the Bolts got finished off in five games following the unfortunate knee injury suffered by top big man Raymond Almazan in Game Three.

“We’ve been meeting a lot lately, and he’s (Cone) been on the winning end every time,” said Black, himself an owner of 11 titles as a coach, including of course the historic Grand Slam with San Miguel Beer in 1989.

Black likes his chances this time around, granted that he will have a healthy lineup at his disposal. Meralco did not have star guard Chris Banchero in the do-or-die clash due to the injuries he suffered in Game Four.

“Yeah, I like my chances this time around, yes.

“I just hope I can get CB back. If he comes back, then I think my chances are pretty good,” said the 64-year-old, as the Fil-Italian cager helped them get a 2-1 lead in the series.

#ReadMore  Magnolia looks to close out PBA semis series as SMB, TNT break deadlock

Well, surely part of Black’s confidence was the way their last meeting in the elimination round went. Last February 13 also at the Big Dome, his side compounded on the struggles of their foes by way of a 101-95 decision.

This will now be the fourth time in the last five editions of the tilt that the Bolts and the Kings will slug it out for the crown. It’s been widely regarded as a rivalry but Black insists otherwise, countering that they haven’t beaten their foes.

Definitely, that’s the goal now — as it has always been.

“I think a lot of people look at it as a very competitive rivalry as far as us meeting in the Finals, but they’ve beaten us every time. It won’t really be a rivalry until we beat them, and that’ll be the goal this time around,” he said.

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

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


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