Meralco’s Banchero rues turnovers in EASL loss to New Taipei Kings

MANILA, Philippines – Having more turnovers than assists spelled the doom for Meralco against Jeremy Lin and the New Taipei Kings in their East Asia Super League (EASL) clash Wednesday night, Bolts guard Chris Banchero said.

In Meralco’s 89-77 loss against the Kings, they were able to dish 10 assists against 12 turnovers.

In contrast, the Kings had 16 assists against just 11 turnovers.

After the game, Banchero, who played lead guard with the absence of Chris Newsome, said that it is “tough” if the team had that assist-to-turnover ratio against a team like New Taipei.

“It’s difficult when you put yourself in that situation and whenever you have 10 assists and 12 turnovers, not sharing the ball, not knocking down shots… that’s tough,” said the guard, who himself had three turnovers and only one assist.

Meralco head co ach Luigi Trillo said the team’s ball movement “froze a little bit” and “that hurt us offensively.”

“It is differe nt when we moved the ball around. And you credit the defense of the kings. They did what they needed to do,” Trillo told reporters after the game.

Meralco led by five, 47-42, at the half.

But New Taipei showed why it is undefeat ed in their last two EASL games, unleashing a tide-turning 11-0 run to grab a 53-47 lead.

The momentum helped the team breeze through to the finish line, as its lead grew to as much as 15.

“Obviously, the first five minutes of that third quarter is such an important part of the game.  We didn’t get the job done in the first five minutes and a big part of that was my responsibility,” Banchero said.

“We let them go on a run.  And, from there, we’re just fighting back.”

The Kings showed their might in the defensive end, notching 11 steals and three blocks.

Trillo also rued the team’s inability to capitalize on Lin’s foul trouble.

“He was in foul trouble with three fouls. We could’ve punished them a bit. Made him play more defense,” said the Bolts coach.

Meralco will take on the Seoul SK Knights next month, while the Kings will clash with the Ryukyu Golden Kings on January 10.

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