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Norman Black shares reminder from Ron Jacobs in halftime talk with Meralco

Thanks to a reminder from Coach Ron Jacobs, Coach Norman Black got his Bolts' defense going in the second half. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Despite a solid performance inside the lane for Ginebra in the first half, Meralco coach Norman Black considered his team somehow "lucky" that his team is still in the thick of things come halftime.

This made him remember a conversation he had with legendary coach Ron Jacobs and shared it with his team during their huddle.

"I was telling them a story about how I remember the great coach Ron Jacobs telling me that if you shoot a very high percentage in the first half and you're only up a few points, that's not very good because the other team certainly has a chance of coming back," Black said.

The Gin Kings shot 50 percent from the field in the first half including a 17-for-23 clip for 74 percent from the two-point range highlighted by a 15-for-19 or 79 percent shooting on layups or dunks for 30 points in the paint.

However, while the said stats were a delight to the strong majority of the 16,104 people present at the Mall of Asia Arena, the biggest PBA crowd amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gin Kings were just up by eight, 48-40, at the half despite holding the Bolts to 33 percent shooting in the first 24 minutes.

What kept Meralco in the game was its solid three-point shooting in which it made 6-of-15 from way out.

Black used Jacobs' words to motivate his team to play better on both ends of the floor.

Indeed, it was the case as the Bolts held the Gin Kings to just 26 points--13 in each of the last two quarters--on a dismal 9-for-32 shooting in the second half.

While Meralco would prevail in Game 3 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night, Black did not discredit Ginebra's defense as well as evidenced by the low-scoring 83-74 outcome.

"It's just a matter of just getting some stops and trying to hold on as long as we could," Black added as Meralco succeeded in holding Ginebra to its lowest score this conference and the second-lowest this season, just three points above its season-low 71 against TNT in the Philippine Cup.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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