Kelly Nabong has tirelessly practiced his midrange jumpshots since arriving in Meralco.
His hardwork finally paid off as his sweet perimeter shooting sparked the Bolts’ 102-91 victory over Blackwater.
“I practice that everyday. Day-in and day-out, we’re in the gym three hours a day, I get up at least 250 shots at practice. It’s all about repetition and confidence,” said Nabong, who punished the Elite with his 15-foot jumpers.
Nabong went on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting from the field to finish with 13 points, 11 coming in the fourth, to go with nine rebounds.
However, it wasn’t just Nabong’s surprise offensive outburst which did the trick for Meralco, but also his defensive aggression, which limited Blackwater to just 11 points in the final frame.
“That’s our thing: defense. That’s what got us to our record right now. We’re number one on defense and fastbreak points,” he said, as the Bolts fought back from an 80-72 deficit coming into the final quarter and clamped the Elite down on defense.
“That’s what we do. We lock up everybody who comes to the gym with us. Coach Norman Black puts a lot of pressure on us, but at the same time he gives us a lot of confidence,” he said.
As Meralco sits idle at second place with its 6-1 card, Nabong welcomes the upcoming 17-day break but maintains that the Bolts need to continue sharpening their saw before returning to action on May 3 against Phoenix.
“The challenge is try to stay in shape and not let up a little bit, try to be on top of our game, and build a little bit of what we’re doing right now,” he said. “We’re in the quarters already, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to be in the Finals and win in the Finals.”