Meralco looks to do what very few low-seeded PBA teams have done in the playoffs: knock off an opponent that holds a twice-to-beat advantage.
The Bolts will look to complete they feat when they play second-seeded Phoenix in their 2018 Governors' Cup quarterfinals match on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Historically, 101 out of 113 PBA teams with the advantage has moved on to the next round. The seventh-seeded Bolts will look to buck that trend after they easily downed the usually high-scoring Fuel Maters 90-74 on Wednesday.
Before their quarterfinals loss in Game 1, Phoenix had scored 106.1 points per contest, good enough for second-best in the conference. But Meralco's unforgiving defense held Phoenix to just 30 percent shooting from the floor. Only import Eugene Phelps (27 points) and Calvin Abueva (18 points) managed to post respectable totals for the Fuel Masters.
But Meralco coach c is looking to improve his team's performance.
"We'll try to correct whatever errors we have in this game and try to get better," said Black, who has steered Meralco to back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Governors' Cup.
Black stressed that, like in Game 1, defense will be the key to a Meralco win.
"If you study the stats, they are a much better offensive team than we are," he said. "We're next to last if not the last-placed team in offense, but defensively we're quite close so what we really need to do is really defend them."
Although Phoenix dominated the boards by grabbing 67 rebounds to Meralco's 53, the Fuel Masters will have to find a way to distribute the ball better following their measly 10-assist effort on Wednesday.
The Fuel Masters are looking to buck history as well, as a win will grant the team it's first semifinal berth.