League-leading Meralco will stick to its defensive game on Sunday when it battles Mahindra in trying to strengthen its hold of the top spot in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts, who are enjoying the No. 1 spot with 6-2 win-loss record, meet the Enforcers in the opening game at 3 p.m. to be followed by the main game between the reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beermen and popular the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings at 5:15 p.m.
Meralco head coach Norman Black said they are not thinking of any team so far in the league, but their only thinking about themselves how to get better in the defensive end every game. He reminded his wards that defense has brought them on top and defense is the only key to win a championship.
“We are not thinking of any teams, we are focusing more on our defense,” Black told The Manila Times via phone interview on Saturday. “Defense is the name of the game and as what I’ve told them Mahindra is a high-scoring team.”
Meralco’s hulking import Arinze Onuaku, who averaged more than 20 points and 20 rebounds in the last eight games, was praised by Black for being so professional and hardworking. “He is the main reason why we are here on top. Arinze provides us what we need inside the paint.”
At the University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao City, the Alaska Aces rebounded from a frustrating setback against the Mahindra Enforcers last Wednesday by crushing the Star Hotshots 100-92 to improve to 6-3 win-loss record and earn a quarterfinal slot.
Calvin Abueva posted 21 points on 8-of-14 attempts in the field plus six rebounds, while Chris Banchero added 15 points and Sonny Thoss had 13 points. The Hotshots dropped to 4-6 win-loss record.