Expect Meralco to push Barangay Ginebra to the wall when the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals resume on Friday’s Game 4 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts, who upended the Gin Kings in Game 3, 107-103, are going for a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series to step closer to a first PBA title in the franchise’s history.
Coach Norman Black is expected to make some changes in defense, especially after seeing Ginebra close to snatching the win late in Game 3.
“I couldn’t say our defense is great because we couldn’t get a stop down the stretch. They scored and got offensive rebounds, but I guess that’s what happens in these type of games,” he said after their latest win.
Black is also hoping that their shooters would click again like last time when Reynel Hugnatan and Jimmy Alapag did damage from the three-point area, while freeing Allen Durham inside the paint.
“When he (Hugnatan) makes those shots, he takes a lot of pressure off Allen Durham makes it difficult for them (Ginebra) to double team,” he said.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone also had talks with their import Justin Brownlee and Solomon Mercado regarding their roles in the series.
Cone said he just wanted to make sure they move in sync in Game 4 and prevent themselves from falling to a 1-3 hole.
Brownlee took an active role in offense during Game 3 by scoring 43 points, but lost in touch with his teammates in the process.
Mercado, meanwhile, will have to be more careful in checking Durham to avoid foul trouble. His defensive approach immensely helped the Kings in Game 3. But too many fouls in the following match had him tied and allowed Durham to take over in scoring.
Cone said there’s nothing wrong with doing one-on-one talks with his players.
“I’ve always done one-on-one talks. It’s been my MO (modus operandi), especially in this series, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page,” he explained in the PBA website.
“We will just talk and make sure we are on the same page. Most of it are encouraging stuff and making sure they understand on doing the right things. Sometimes, it’s about the things we need to focus on,” he said.