MERALCO is going all out to pull off an upset win over San Miguel in order to help its cause as the Bolts go for a quarterfinal berth on Saturday against the Beermen.
The Bolts will be facing the Beermen in a must-win situation in order to secure at least a playoff for the No. 8 spot in the quarterfinals.
“We are just have to leave it out there,” Meralco cager Chris Newsome said. “Every time you play San Miguel, it’s going to be a tough game regardless of whether they have June Mar or not. They have a stacked line-up."
“We have to basically bring our A-game and then, we are going to need some contributions from the starting five as well as our bench. Everyone has to contribute in order to get the win,” said Newsome.
Saturday’s match will actually be a battle of two of the hottest teams in the league with Meralco on a three-game winning streak heading into the match against San Miguel, which has won four straight games.
San Miguel has received a timely boost with the return of June Mar Fajardo although the four-time Most Valuable Player only played 10 minutes last week in his first game back against Rain or Shine.
Newsome said Meralco’s defense will play a big role on their chances of winning against San Miguel.
“Of course, we want to keep it a low-scoring game. It’s going to be more on our favor. If San Miguel is going to hit their shots, it’s going to be a long game. A lot of the game plan has to do with June Mar. We are going to prepare for him regardless. We just have to go with what we know best and try our best to use our weapons the best way possible,” said Newsome.
The three-game winning streak has helped Meralco stay in contention in the quarterfinal race despite a losing skid that stretched to six games. Newsome said the Bolts have been playing as a team on both ends.
“The difference now is we are now focused more on team concepts as far as team defense and moving the ball on offense. We are trying our best to get as many assists as we can and we are also trying our best to help each other out on defense. When someone is beat, the next guy is there. We are just looking out for each other,” said Newsome.