MANILA, Philippines – As far as Tim Cone is concerned, questions why Aaron Black is in the PBA have already been answered.
Cone heaped praise on Black after the Meralco guard turned in a career-high 24 points in a 99-93 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday, April 8, that tied the PBA Governors’ Cup finals at 1-1.
The Gin Kings led by as many as 20 points before Black powered their fightback, unloading 17 points in a brilliant second-half showing that kept his side in the game until the final minute.
“I don’t think anybody can question him at this level,” Cone said of Black, who raised eyebrows when the Bolts – whose head coach Norman Black is his father – selected him in the 2019 PBA Draft.
“That’s getting to be a normal thing, right? He did it against Magnolia. He tore us apart in Game 1 and now he brought it back in Game 2.” Cone added. “He’s playing definitely at an All-Star level.”
Black played a key role as Meralco eliminated the top seed Hotshots in the semifinals as he delivered 16 points and 5 rebounds in a 94-81 win in the knockout match of their best-of-five affair.
He then followed it up with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in Game 1 of the finals, with the Bolts clobbering Ginebra, 104-91, for a 1-0 series lead.
Such kind of performances by a son of a coach is enough to make Cone jealous.
“I’m sure Norman is really kilig (thrilled) about it. I mean, wouldn’t you be if it was your son doing that? I’m a little bit envious watching his son playing over there for him,” Cone said.
As much as Black appreciates the compliments from Cone, he said it would have been better had Meralco won.
“I would take the win any time of the day over any kind of stats. If I had 50 points, I’d take the win over that. It is different being up 2-0 than being tied,” Black said.
“We’re back to square one again.”
Making life difficult for Black will be a point of emphasis for Cone as the Gin Kings and the Bolts dispute the 2-1 lead in Game 3 on Sunday, April 10, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com