Norman Black comes out to solve the old PBA Governors Cup puzzle that Geneva

Meralco coach Norman Black believes he has the piece to turn it around this time around.  -PBA image

Meralco coach Norman Black believes he has the piece to turn it around this time around.
-PBA image

The fourth installment of the PBA Governors Cup in the last five years is the line of the same story: Gene Kings is again considered as an irresistible favorite.

Yet Meralco coach Norman Black is adamant in his belief that at any time, and he certainly wants it to be, his bolts can finally stand up and turn this one-sided affair into something more exciting than a vehicle for Tim Cone and Tim Cone. The greatness of the popular franchise.

“I like my chances this time, yes,” he told reporters last Friday night, after finishing strong Magnolia in a physical semifinal competition that went into a decisive Game 5.

Meralco is on a bad edge with Geneva in the aftermath of its Governors Cup final, but the duality of this race-to-four series, which was unveiled at the iconic Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, is set to differ from the previous three editions.

“It should be interesting again,” Black said.

Meralco will be immersed in a completely different squad action from the way it came back in 2016. Since then Allen Maliksey, a sweet-shooting forward who has won titles with Shank, Raymond Almazan, a nimble and defensive big. People have longed for black long.

This season, the Bolters also replaced Allen Durham with Panamanian standout Tony Bishop Jr. and then removed Chris Banchero from the free agency. Black, during this tournament, was very vocal about how inseparable the two would be with the progress of the franchise.

Essential new pieces

Bishop has helped Meralco unlock a different dimension of his game through his smooth shooting. Banchero, on the other hand, not only provides extra firepower, but also gives Black some stability at the playmaking end while making bolt rotation less rigid.

With Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge, Reinel Huganatan and Anjo Carrom in the lead roles – all of whom have been hardened by the futility of those years at the hands of their imaginary enemies – Meralco is definitely looking fierce.

It is noteworthy that Genebra has also evolved over time. It traded for Spitfire guard Stanley Pringle (though out of this series), forward Christian Standhardinger and then equally tireless Sidney Onuber. The club later picked up free agent Narad Pinto.

And before the title series, Genebra enjoys many benefits that come from the mature nucleus of LA Tenorio, Scotty Thompson, Joe Devance, Jeff Chan and, of course, the irresistible Justin Brownlee.

“I think Meralco is going to be incredibly inspired. I imagine he will play with us for the fourth time,” said Shanku.

The most competitive series that the two clubs played came back in 2017 when the race went its full, seven-game distance.

But it now seems like a neat foothold for Black, who has not only set his sights on winning a title in the end against his revered two-time Grand Slam-winning opponent.

“I think a lot of people see this as a very competitive match as far as we meet in the final, but they (Kings) have beaten us every time,” he said.

“It simply came to our notice then. And that will be the goal this time, ”he continued. INQ

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