Shots fired as Cliff Hodge wishes for Meralco-Ginebra finale: 'I love playing against the crowd'
Cliff Hodge says Game Four was the 'best performance of his career - ever.' Jaime Campos

AFTER Meralco eliminated the top seeded team in the PBA Governors Cup, Chris Hodge wants no less than the league’s most popular ballclub next.

The athletic wingman didn’t mince words on which he prefers to meet in the finals of the season-ending meet shortly after the Bolts made the championship round for the first time ever in franchise history on Monday night.

“I would want Ginebra. I love playing against the crowd,” said a smiling Hodge following his career-game 32 points in the Bolts’ 94-88 demolition of Tropang TNT to win their best-of-five semifinals series, 3-1.

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Meralco awaits the winner in the sudden-death game between Ginebra and reigning champion San Miguel on Tuesday to face them in the best-of-seven title series starting on Friday.

Hodge played a big hand in the Bolts’ march to their first ever finals stint after leading the way in Game Four, where he shot 12 of 19 from the floor, including 3 of 7 from three-point range after playing 46 minutes in what he considers as the best game of his career.

“In my whole career, high school, college, this is by far my best game ever, for sure,” he said.

Selected No. 4 overall by the Bolts in the 2012 draft, the 28-year-old Fil-Am from Pensacola, Florida admitted being speechless when it was over, obviously shocked by the way the Bolts pulled the rug from under the fancied Texters in the semis.

“It’s just a surreal feeling,” he said.

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Four years of waiting and now Hodge is in his first finals as a pro. He vows Meralco will definitely make the most out of the opportunity.

“We don’t want to waste it. It took me four years to get here so we’ll gonna come out and try to win this,” he said.  

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos