UNDENIABLY the hottest team in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup right now, the streaking Meralco Bolts are out to keep rolling, banking on their “keep fighting” mentality.
Won their seventh straight match in the season-ending PBA tournament, with the last one allowing them to go up 1-0 in their best-of-five semifinal series against the higher-seeded Alaska Aces, the Bolts are bent on charging ahead and take a commanding lead in the semifinals in Game Two today set for 7 p.m. at the Mall of Asia (MoA) Arena in Pasay City.
In the series-opener on Nov. 11 where it won, 97-92, Meralco showcased their fine form of late, going on a fast start and maintaining control the rest of the way led by import Allen Durham.
Mr. Durham paced the Bolts with 32 points, 14 rebounds and six assists with Chris Newsome finishing with 16 points, four assists and four steals.
Guard Baser Amer added 14 points for Meralco, which clawed its ways out of a deep hole to make its way to the playoffs via the backdoor and buck a twice-to-win handicap in the quarterfinals to be where it is now.
Meralco coach Norman Black attributed their resurgence in the tournament to their leaving everything out there on the court and fighting through adversities.
“We go out there and fight every day,” said Mr. Black following their victory in their series opener.
“Allen has been good for us. He is taking the lead and the rest of the team is following him,” he added, paying tribute to Mr. Durham, who has led the Bolts to the finals in each of the last two editions of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Mr. Black was seconded by Mr. Newsome, named player of the game in Game One, who highlighted that it is never too late if one puts the work and complement it with dogged determination to succeed.
“We just want to send a message that no matter how deep a hole you fall into, you can come out of it. It’s never done until it’s done,” said Mr. Newsome. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo