Meralco Bolts defy odds to make Finals

Meralco claims first-ever Finals berth in upset over TNT

Cliff Hodge scored a career-high 32 points to propel the Bolts to their first-ever PBA Final.

If sibling rivalry is the order of the day with this year’s Governor’s Cup Semis, then the Meralco Bolts’ run for the title is definitely an underdog tale: This isn’t just the Bolts’ first time in the Finals, they’re the first PBA team in 15 years to go from being last in the season’s opening Cup, only to turn it all around and reach the Finals of the year’s final conference.

Powered by Cliff Hodge’s career-high 32 point-performance, Meralco won their place by beating the top-seeded TNT Katropa, 94-88 on Monday.

Under the watchful eye of Head Coach Norman Black, the Bolts were a well-oiled machine, prompting the basketball vet to later tell media, “I’m really happy for the team, for the players. They work hard, they put in the extra work…it’s not over yet, but I can’t be more proud of my players and I’m happy for the Meralco community.”

“We knew coming into this series that individually we’re not as strong as Talk N Text, but we really focused on trying to being a team and focusing on doing whatever we have to do to win.”

Their Finals position secure, The Bolts will now wait for the results of tonight’s game between the Beermen and Gin Kings to see who they will face in the best-of-seven Finals scheduled for this coming Friday.

With the remaining Finals slot on the line in the SMB-Ginebra sudden death match up, basketball fans’ eyes are definitely going to be on the Big Dome tonight.

 

UPDATE: Ginebra San Miguel beat the Beermen 117-92 in an epic Semis showdown. The Bolts are meeting the Gin Kings in the Finals!
Image source: pba.inquirer.net

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