THE mood in the Meralco locker room was jubilant after the Bolts finally beat Barangay Ginebra in a playoff series in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
The celebration though was short-lived as the Bolts turned their attention to top-seed San Miguel which they meet in the semifinals starting on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Meralco skipper Chris Newsome said the quest to reach new heights doesn’t end with a landmark win over Ginebra.
“I think the motivation for us is Meralco has never been in the finals in the all-Filipino,” said Newsome. “I think we can use that as a motivation. We still have more history that we can make.”
Since the franchise entered the PBA in 2010, Meralco hasn’t won a a single championship, with its four losses against Ginebra in the Governors’ Cup Finals marking the closest the Bolts ever got to winning it all.
Meralco also fared well in the past two Philippine Cups, making it to the semifinals after previously missing the playoffs altogether four straight times.
“This is one step that we were able to get over the hump against Ginebra. But there’s another goal that we haven’t reached which is to be in the finals in an all-Filipino. There is still motivation for us,” said Newsome.
Newsome had an all-around performance in the series clincher against Ginebra where he poured in 21 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, and two steals in Meralco’s 106-104 win last Sunday.
The next goal though will be difficult, Newsome acknowledged, as Meralco faces top-seed San Miguel, a team whose goal all conference long is to regain its supremacy in the league's most prestigious conference.
Like in the Ginebra series, Newsome welcomes the challenge.
“Like I said in previous interviews, if we want to get to the top, you have to beat the best. Ginebra was step one and of course, everyone knows San Miguel is one of the best, if not, the best team in the all-Filipino conference.
"We have to go through them and we want to get into the finals,” said Newsome.
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