Down 1-3, Bolts not giving up
MANILA, Philippines — The Meralco Bolts remained defiant and aren’t ready to give up the fight for a coveted seat to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Staring at a huge 1-3 deficit, the Bolts are preparing to mount a fierce comeback to stay in the hunt against hard-nosed semifinal rival Magnolia.
“The team’s spirits are okay,” Meralco Bolts coach Norman Black told The STAR a day after the Hotshots pushed them to the brink with an 81-69 defeat in Game 4. “The focus (now) is all on Game 5 and staying alive in the series.”
The Bolts are poised to extend the race-to-four dispute to a Game 6 with or without key big man Raymond Almazan. The 6-foot-8 slotman sprained his ankle in the third game and sat out Sunday’s fourth match.
“Raymond is a game-time decision,” said Black while also ruling out his son Aaron for tomorrow’s must-win fixture.
Like Meralco, the TNT Tropang Giga are dealing with manpower problems as they engage San Miguel Beer in a tough Last-4 duel currently tied at 2-2.
In Game 4, young center Poy Erram was forced out of action after hitting his face on the court following a looseball scramble with SMB’s Mo Tautuaa.
“Poy has (a) suspected fractured cheekbone,” said TNT mentor Chot Reyes, whose frontliners are already one man down with veteran Kelly Williams still under the league’s health protocols prior to Erram’s exit.
It’s not immediately known if Erram would be back in action tomorrow.
“More tests to be done today (yesterday),” said Reyes.
The Tropang Giga look to bounce back strong after absorbing a 90-116 defeat.
“Our mentality remains the same – we need to be better,” said Reyes.
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