MANILA, Philippines – Norman Black is a proud father and coach to his son and player Aaron Black.
Norman lauded Aaron as the younger Black helped keep Meralco alive in the PBA Philippine Cup by leading the way in their come-from-behind 96-92 win over San Miguel in Game 6 of the semifinals on Sunday, August 14.
Aaron erupted for 11 points in the final two minutes and netted 17 points in total to power the Bolts’ 16-2 finishing kick that allowed them to complete their comeback from a 10-point hole in the final frame.
“I’m really proud of Aaron not just because of tonight but where he has come from as a basketball player. I think he has improved a lot over the couple of years,” said the older Black.
“His career has been on the upward path here in the PBA. I’m happy he took over the game today.”
After Chris Newsome sliced the Meralco deficit to single digits, Aaron scored and assisted on each of the Bolts’ next 11 points as they erected a 13-0 run to grab a 93-90 lead.
The former Outstanding Rookie assisted on a Cliff Hodge three-point play before he scored 8 straight points capped by his own and-one opportunity.
When the Beermen narrowed the gap to a whisker, Aaron showed steely resolve by knocking down 3 of his 4 free throws in the dying seconds to preserve the win for his side.
“He actually told me, ‘Give me the ball and set pick-and-rolls and I’ll get it done,’ and he went out and did it,” said Norman.
“So I’m really happy he was able to back up what he was saying out there on the basketball court.”
Aaron, though, refused to take credit for the win, saying it took a team effort for Meralco to level the best-of-seven affair at 3-3.
“I was really determined because if we lost, we’re going home. Our backs were against the wall,” said Aaron. “It was not just me, everybody on the team came ready to play today.”
“San Miguel is a tough team. Credit to them. They had us in a hole the whole game and I’m just thankful that we were able to come together as a team and come out with the win and live another day.”
The do-or-die Game 7 is slated on Wednesday, August 17, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com