‘Great team effort’ carries Bolts to morale-boosting win
Meralco finally got a breakthrough after nabbing an 82-72 win over Rain or Shine that ended its six-game tailspin on Friday.
And for Chris Newsome, the victory did more than just fan the Bolts’ slim playoff chances.
“It’s really big for us because the mood in the locker room is pretty heavy whenever you’re losing, especially in the last six straight games,” he said. “We try to stay positive and we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and that’s kind of the approach that we took today.”
With the whole team playing loose, Meralco played to its potential before racing to a 35-20 first quarter lead.
Though the Elasto Painters staged a few runs, the Bolts found the answers every time as they cruised to their third win in 10 games.
Newsome topped the squad with 19 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
The last season’s Rookie of the Year admits that making the quarterfinals is a tall mountain to climb, so Meralco wants to focus on building its camaraderie as it looks forward to the future.
“We tried to focus on the things that we need to improve on, whether the rest of the conference or next conference. It’s a long season so we don’t just want to shut down and let everything that we’ve done go to waste. We just want to keep building and keep improving,” he said.
And their latest win after a stretch of loses is a step in the right direction for the Bolts.
“I think that’s what we showed today, a great team effort. It’s just great for the morale of the team to finally get a win, finally get that monkey off our back and know we’re doing something right. We already got two wins more than our previous Philippine Cup so I think we’re slowly improving,” said Newsome, looking back at last year’s paltry 1-10 record in the all-Filipino conference.
But don’t think that the Bolts will just roll over and give up in the playoff race with still a game remaining, a battle against Star on January 28.
“The mindset is to control what we can control,” said Newsome. “The only thing that we’re in control of right now is winning our last game against Star and everything else is kind of out of our hands. We just got to hope for the best situation. We just got to focus on what we can control and that’s our effort in practice and attention to detail when it comes to games. Whatever happens on the outside, happens on the outside.”