THERE'S no need for motivational speeches for Meralco’s knockout game against Alaska as a win would catapult the Bolts to the last quarterfinal berth of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
“Do not die. That is our battle cry. We need to come in, ready to play, and leave everything on the floor. No extra motivation required,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio on the eve of the match.
They Said It!
“Do not die. That is our battle cry. We need to come in, ready to play, and leave everything on the floor. No extra motivation required” - Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio
The Bolts closed out their elimination round campaign with back-to-back losses against Rain or Shine (86-89) and Petron (87-96) to wind up with a 5-9 win-loss record.
They actually finished tied for sixth to ninth places with the Barako Bull Energy, Globalport Batang Pier, and the Alaska Aces.
But with the Energy and Batang Pier owning superior quotients, the Bolts and Aces are left to contest the eighth and final quarterfinal berth in their 8 p.m. game encounter on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alaska whipped Barako Bull on Sunday, 89-80, to earn a play off shot against Meralco.
Gregorio expects emotions to be sky-high owing to the importance of the match
Then there is also the controversy surrounding players Jared Dillinger and Calvin Abueva, who figured in a scuffle the last time the two teams met which the Bolts won, 74-65.
“For sure, emotions will run high, but the goal is to win the game and live for another day,” said the 41-year-old Gregorio. “We just need to throw away what happened in our last game. It has no bearing anymore.
For one game, we just have to muster enough strength to make it to the playoffs,” he added.