MANILA - The Meralco Bolts could not finish the elimination round of the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup on a winning note.
They entered their game against Rain or Shine with a five-game winning streak, but faltered in the endgame against the determined Elasto Painters. ROS seized an 83-81 win to momentarily keep their own quarterfinals hopes alive.
"Rain or Shine had to win this game, and they came out and played like they had to win the basketball game, so a lot of credit also goes to them," Meralco coach Norman Black said afterward.
Yet the multi-titled mentor did not seem too torn up about the result, even after a poor closing stretch that saw them fail to get a good shot off in the final seconds.
"We lost the ball," said Black. "I think Bong Quinto lost the ball, committed a turnover. We were able to get the ball back, but we weren't able to get a good shot off."
"So, it happens," he shrugged. "We just have to move on to the playoffs."
While entering the playoffs on a losing note is not ideal, Black is also looking forward to seeing how his team responds to the loss.
"Even if we get into the playoffs, you get into a championship series, you may lose one or two games," he pointed out. "So, your ability to come back and win the next game and stick together as a team, and continue executing is really the key."
"It's one loss," he stressed. "Move on to the next game. There's no sense in dwelling on it."
Meralco has yet to learn its quarterfinals opponent, though they are already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in that phase of the playoffs. Regardless of who they face, Black makes it clear that they will be ready.
"We work every day to try to improve our game offensively and defensively, so whether we lost this game or not, we'll continue to do that in practice," he said.