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Norman Black sees brewing rivalry between Meralco and Magnolia

Meralco and Magnolia have been at each other’s throats every time they cross paths on the court and Sunday’s game between the league’s top two defensive teams was no different as the Bolts only escaped by a hairline with a 86-84 win on late free throws and stops.

There has been a brewing rivalry between Magnolia and Meralco (PBA Images) 

“I think it has been for a few years since the bubble,” Bolts head coach Norman Black said of the brewing rivalry between the two teams which started in the 2021 Philippine Cup in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Since then, the two teams have figured in 17 matches with Magnolia winning nine times and Meralco claiming seven of those games – some of which became the fiercest defensive battles the league had seen including a pulsating 95-94 win of Meralco on a late layup from Chris Newsome back in the Bacolor bubble.

The Hotshots, however, had the Bolts’ number in their two games this season with a 87-88 victory in the all-Filipino conference and 108-96 a victory in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Black, who has shrugged off talks of rivalry between Ginebra after getting the bad end of the stick in their head-to-head matchup especially in championship series in the past, felt that the Hotshots and the Bolts are more evenly matched.

“You want to see teams out there battling it out and every time. Every time we play Magnolia, we play similar styles. We are not really high-scoring teams. We play defense,” said Black.

“We play different defenses. They’re more pressure, pressure, pressure, take the ball away from you. Ours is more, we stop you and take the rebounds. It’s different types of defenses but it’s just a good match-up,” he added.

The veteran coach also added the PBA could also build up and feed on these kinds of rivalries to also attract audiences in the arena.

“I think that’s what the league should be all aboutIt should be about rivalries. That’s how you bring people into the stands when they know that they show up for the game, there is going to be a fight. Not literally a fight, but a fight on the court as far as how they play against each other,” explained Black.

“That’s why people come to see the games. They want to see teams out there really battling it out.”

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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