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Meralco struggling to fortify PBA playoff bid

Meralco Bolts' import KJ McDaniels in the PBA Governors' Cup. -PBA IMAGES

Meralco Bolts’ import KJ McDaniels within the PBA Governors’ Cup. -PBA IMAGES

Meralco has to struggle “tooth and nail” to place itself in a very good place to make a deep playoff run within the Philippine Basketball Affiliation Governors’ Cup.

If it’s any comfort, coach Norman Black and the Bolts aren’t alone in that predicament.

“Nearly the entire groups are struggling to make the playoffs,” Black stated after a 114-98 win over the NLEX Highway Warriors that arrested a two-game slide on Thursday at PhilSports Enviornment in Pasig Metropolis.

“There’s really two groups (TNT and San Miguel Beer) which are pulling away, whereas everyone else is kinda tooth and nail attempting to remain within the working. We’re a kind of groups,” added Black because the Bolts improved to 4-3 (win-loss).

Meralco, whose final two defeats got here in opposition to the runaway leaders who’ve secured their quarterfinal slots, restored its sixth-place tie with Magnolia within the standings and is only a recreation behind third-placer Converge, which was enjoying at press time.

Additionally bunched intently collectively are NLEX, which dropped to fourth at 5-3, and fourth-running Barangay Ginebra at 4-2.

Meralco may have possibilities to bolster its bid whereas hauling down different groups caught in a good playoff chase.

The Bolts will battle Magnolia on Sunday at Good Araneta Coliseum, Ginebra on March 1 and Converge on March 3 earlier than assembly Phoenix to conclude the elimination spherical on March 5.

To realize that objective, nonetheless, Black is banking on import KJ McDaniels to place up massive numbers like he did early within the convention, and Thursday in opposition to NLEX, his former group.

McDaniels had 31 factors and 21 rebounds in opposition to the Highway Warriors, who he bolstered within the early portion of final season’s Governors’ Cup. He averaged 22.0 factors and 14.0 rebounds in opposition to the Beermen and Tropang Giga.

“We bought a giant recreation from KJ which we didn’t get within the final two video games,” Black stated. “If he can provide us that kind of efficiency, then now we have an opportunity of beating anyone.”

However the locals are additionally anticipated to share that burden, particularly Allein Maliksi, who bought 19 factors together with key pictures from three-point land that prevented the Highway Warriors from drawing nearer after repeated makes an attempt to chop right into a 21-point deficit.

Chris Newsome, Aaron Black, Cliff Hodge and Anjo Caram had been additionally instrumental within the win that was highlighted by a 22-0 run that turned a 16-15 deficit with lower than 5 minutes to go within the first right into a 37-16 lead early within the second.

NLEX absorbed a 3rd defeat in 4 video games since authentic import Jonathon Simmons left for China and was changed by Wayne Selden, who regardless of the group’s stoop stays to be one of many event’s proficient imports.

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