OTW to PBA greatness for Meralco Bolts

Jun 25, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – Some factors are necessary for a movie to be a masterpiece. With coach Luigi Trillo and current consultant Nenad Vucinic behind the camera, Meralco demonstrated how it crafted its masterpiece, leading the Bolts in creating a historic film and winning their first-ever PBA Philippine Cup.

In six steps—or games—Inquirer Sports explains how the Bolts made history in the most captivating and dramatic way imaginable.

Cliff Hodge, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan of the Meralco Bolts play against the San Miguel Beermen in Game 5 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. – Get to know the heroes.

A movie must introduce its primary characters in order for it to have sound. Here, it’s the Bolts.

Meralco, having emerged as the third-seeded team in the All-Filipino Conference elimination round, was slated to take on the top-seeded San Miguel Beermen, who concluded with a 10-1 record.

The season-ending best-of-seven series seemed like a David and Goliath situation on paper. Clearly, Trillo was reading a different publication.

The head coach declared, “San Miguel, we can match up with them but we have a lot of respect for them,” just a few days before Game 1 of the Finals.

Naturally, the same confidence produced incredible outcomes.

Ultimately, the Finals represent an entirely distinct species in contrast to the elimination phase. The Bolts then said, “Allow us to reintroduce ourselves,” pulling off their best Jay-Z moment.

And they did introduce themselves.

During the first game of the Philippine Cup championship, Meralco made a remarkable comeback, surprising supporters who had assumed the Beermen would defeat the Bolts with ease.

Instead of the dominance that many had anticipated from San Miguel, Meralco emerged victorious, winning 93–86 to get the upper hand.

But one victory in the first game of a series is meaningless. Ask Trillo, who stated unequivocally that the film is only getting started. In order to solve the enigma of the powerful Beermen, Meralco would have to go off on an adventure in the next games.

“We must get ready,” a stunned Trillo replied.

“We have a 50/50 chance of defeating this team the more we focus and execute those [plans].” However, we are aware that they will arrive with modifications. The chief strategist stated, “We need to see the same mistakes we made here.”

And when you present your heroic lead characters, what next?

San Miguel claimed to be among the greatest opponents in recent PBA history for a reason.

With the Infinity Gauntlet, imagine how much more powerful Thanos’ already formidable body would be.

Imagine now that you have June Mar Fajardo and that you have support from people like Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, CJ Perez, and Jericho Cruz, to mention a few. How would you go about facing that enormous team?

To defeat the story’s rising hero, San Miguel used one of their stones, much like Thanos did.

Let’s meet “Super Marcio.”

Marcio Lassiter, who was known for making crucial shots for the Beermen, made a significant contribution to prevent Meralco from taking a 2-0 lead.

When CJ Perez spotted a waiting Lassiter in the left corner of the hardwood floor, the Bolts had a razor-thin 94-92 lead against San Miguel.

“I simply knew that I could be open if I could find my place, read the defense, and pump fake. The San Miguel sharpshooter stated, “I got a decent look at the basket and that’s basically all I need.

“My confidence in my ability to succeed increases if I can have a clear view of the rim. I was able to maintain composure a couple times previously, and I seized the chance when it presented itself,” he continued.

The Beermen prevailed 95–94 thanks to Lassiter’s valiant efforts, adding to the suspense of this thrilling series picture.

Learn more on how the Bolts will ride their way to greatness on part 2 of this write up. 

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