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Trillo, Newsome credit Meralco execution as SMB’s zone defense backfires

For a team that is known and takes pride for its defense, Meralco also showed that it is very much capable of executing on the offensive end as well.

The Bolts offense was tested in Game 3 when the San Miguel Beermen surprisingly employed a zone defense. It took time for it to figure it out but safe to say Meralco had responded well by taking the 93-89 win.

Whether the decision to go on a zone was for SMB to protect both June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez, both with three fouls already in the first half, or simply testing out how well the Meralco can shoot the treys, the ploy certainly backfired when Chris Newsome buried the go-ahead triple with 32.4 seconds left in the contest.

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Chris Newsome was relentless in attacking San Miguel’s zone defense in Game 3. (PBA Images)

Meralco played the zone perfectly as it swung the ball from left to right before finding Newsome who was hardly bothered by the late challenge of Mo Tautuaa from the corner.

“We are confident with our guys if they throw a zone we’re ready for it, if they run sa man-to-man, we’re also ready to go,” said Meralco head coach Luigi Trillo who emphasized the importance of his team’s ability to execute at half court even when it tries to keep the pace up.

“You see clearly what this game is about. The slower it gets, you fall for San Miguel. The quicker it gets, it favors Meralco. It’s teams trying to pull back and forth on that pace but in the endgame we have to be good at the half court (execution),” he added.

Even against SMB’s zone, Meralco was able to go deep into the paint and find the best possible shot on the field, evident with their 22 assists on the 32 field goals it made. Newsome and Bong Quinto also served as the zone-busters for Meralco after drilling three triples apiece.

As for the clutch trey, Newsome said it was the execution of the team that made it possible.

“That was my team. They’re looking for me. They are giving me the confidence to take the open shot and be aggressive. That’s Meralco basketball for you,” said Newsome.

“We are trying to get the best of everybody and sometimes it’s gonna be a lot of tough love out there but at the end of the day we all know it was all good intention because we know what we are striving for,” he added.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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