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Black expects Star to "not give up" as Meralco goes for semis sweep

PBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Meralco is now on the cusp of making a return to the PBA Governors' Cup Finals.

But Coach Norman Black expects a tough fight back from Star as their semifinal affair returns to Metro Manila after tipping off in Laguna.

"We don't expect them to give up. That's for sure. We expect them to come out fighting and put pressure on our offense," said Black ahead of Game 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Thursday night.

Black looks forward to see a performance even better than the Bolts' Game 2 domination to complete the sweep of the Hotshots.

"We really have to be playing our best basketball to beat them in Game 3. At this point of the season, that's what it's all about. You have to play at a high level of basketball if you wanna win a championship. That's what we gonna have to do on our next game against Star," he continued

On the other hand, Coach Chito Victolero hopes that Star will make a huge turnaround and steal the series from Meralco starting with the 7 p.m. Game 3 tip-off as he gets a sigh of relief that the best-of-five series goes back to the capital province after struggling a lot in Laguna.

"Medyo minalas kami sa Laguna. Sana sa Metro Manila, swertehin kami," said Victolero, whose Hotshots squad is actually 3-0 with current import Kris Acox in the "Big City".

Victolero looks forward for the Star players, especially import Kris Acox and guards Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca, to catch fire with Paul Lee out for the remainder of the series due to his aggravated slight meniscus tear in his left knee.

[Related Story: Lee sits out rest of semis Game 2 after recurrence of knee injury]

"Right now, everybody needs to step up. Kailangan lang sigurong magkaroon ng magandang mindset para mapagtulungan namin ito," Victolero further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno