Meralco has repeatedly fallen short of its maiden PBA championship at the hands of Barangay Ginebra.
In the Bolts’ breakthrough semifinals appearance in the Philippine Cup, the same opponents await.
Meralco has its sights set on breaking its curse against Ginebra as a follow-up to its feat of ending the five-year title reign of San Miguel in the All-Filipino conference.
“The idea is to set the goal to make it to the championship, and of course for us to be able to do that, we have to go through Ginebra to get it done,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black.
Ginebra has proven to be an impenetrable wall for Meralco, winning all of their last 4 playoff series.
Black and the Bolts reached the Governors’ Cup finals 3 times over the last 4 seasons only to fall prey to the Gin Kings in all occasions.
“[T]hey’ve been getting the better end of the matchup, but hopefully, we can change that this conference,” Black said.
“We’re going to have to regroup after this because the guys are really, really happy for making it to the semis, but the battle is only half won.”
Black acknowledged Ginebra being the favorite in the best-of-five affair, not just because of their history, but by the way the Gin Kings performed to clinch the top seed in the playoffs.
Japeth Aguilar – who struggled early in the conference after joining Ginebra late in the bubble – is peaking at the right time, while do-it-all Scottie Thompson continues to be consistent.
Then there is Stanley Pringle, whom Black described as a “top 3 player”
“They have a very, very good team, a lot of quality players on their team, but we’ll be out there fighting,” Black said. – Rappler.com