Finals experience helps Meralco overcome Phoenix
Meralco and Phoenix had vastly different identities during their quarterfinals series in the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters came into the series as the no.2 team an 8-3 record and brought along a twice-to-beat advantage while the Bolts entered the playoffs after slugging through the eliminations and winning four straight do-or-die games.
Meralco, riding on that incredible winning streak, stunned Phoenix and overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage to continue its hot streak on the way to the semifinals against a tough Alaska team.
Bolts wingman Chris Newsome said it just may have been his team’s championship experience that got them over a determined team like Phoenix.
“I definitely felt like that [championship experience] played a key especially in Game 1,” said Newsome after their 108-103 overtime win in Game 2. “I felt like we understood what we needed to do to set the tone.”
“We knew we had to win two games so we wanted to set the tone right from the get-go.”
The Bolts are considered powers in the PBA’s third conference with two straight finals appearances to attest to that.
Meralco fought by the skin of its teeth to get to the playoffs after falling to a 1-6 record in the preliminaries.
“We understood that they’re [the Fuel Masters] going to make adjustments and I felt like that’s where our finals experience came in making those adjustments because is a series that’s what happens,” said Newsome who had 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
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