MANILA, Philippines — Requiring five more minutes to settle the game, Norman Black looked at the Meralco bench for help against TNT.
And the locals heeded his call.
The Bolts stayed alive in their hunt for a semis spot in the PBA’s Commissioner’s Cup after grinding out a 103-100 victory through the heroics of Baser Amer and Kelly Nabong in the extra period.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the locals for stepping up in this game,” Black said. “Particularly Baser Amer who I think played the best game of his career.”
Amer finished the game with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists. But it was Nabong who ended their fourth-quarter dry spell and put the game beyond KaTropa’s reach during the overtime period.
“It definitely was, definitely was,” Nabong said of his team’s collective effort down the stretch. He finished the game with 15 markers and six boards.
“We had to come together as a team. Our import fouled out so we had to come together as a team and lock down on defense,” he added.
“Sabi ko din sa kanila na kailangan magkaroon kami ng aggressive mentality from the start hanggang matapos,” Amer noted.
Aggressive indeed were the Bolts throughout the game. They led TNT lead by only a point in the 48 minutes of contest and were ahead by as many as 19, as if trying to make up for the embarassing rout they experienced in Game One.
And with that memory now buried into irrelevance, Black, Nabong and Amer have now set their sights on the rubber match.
“Para din sakin, ayaw ko rin magbakasyon. Kung natalo kami today maghihintay na naman kami next conference. Nakakasawa na,” Amer offered.
“We worry about Game Three right now,” Nabong chimed in.
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