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Black shares defensive adjustment on Walker in second half of Meralco's comeback win over Blackwater

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Henry Walker was a man on a mission in the first half of the knockout PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinal game between Blackwater and Meralco, dropping 27 points on six triples, more than half of Blackwater's 52 points overall after 24 minutes.

With his team's season surprisingly on the line in the second half despite entering the playoffs as the top seed, Coach Norman Black focused his defensive attention on Walker.

"We started to be a little more aggressive against Walker," Black said after the game.

And the aggression worked.

Walker was limited to only seven points the rest of the way, and Meralco fought back to defeat Blackwater, 104-96, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday night.


Black particularly lauded Ranidel De Ocampo on at least keeping Walker at check.

"I have to give Ranidel De Ocampo a lot of credit defensively in the second half. I know he didn't stop Walker, but he certainly slowed him down a lot. It gave us an opportunity not to double team down the court," continued Black.

For his part, De Ocampo said that his familiarity with Walker helped him defensively

"Buti na lang, nakalaban ko na ang Blackwater noong nasa TNT pa ako. Ako rin ang nag-gwardya kay Walker," De Ocampo, who became a Bolt through a trade nearly three weeks ago, told some sportswriters in a separate interview.

He would clarify that he guarded Walker during the first half only that he was told to be indeed aggressive in the second half.

"Effective naman. Maganda yung resulta, so tinuluy-tuloy na namin," De Ocampo said.

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