Meralco EASL hopes hanging in the balance

Meralco EASL hopes hanging in the balance

/ 05:06 AM December 29, 2023

Meralco Bolts coach Luigi Trillo.

Meralco Bolts coach Luigi Trillo. –PBA IMAGES

Meralco is now in dire straits of having to win its remaining two matches for a chance of sneaking into the Final Four in the East Asia Super League (EASL).

Wednesday’s heartbreaking 81-80 loss to the Seoul SK Knights at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City sent the Bolts at the bottom of Group B with a 1-3 record going into their final two games.

But things seem to look complicated in the group with the New Taipei Kings on top at 2-0 while Seoul is tied with the Ryukyu Golden Kings with an even 2-2 slate.


The Bolts host the Taiwanese side Kings, led by former New York Knick Jeremy Lin, on Jan. 3 at the same venue, a loss likely ending any hopes of making the semifinals.

A return match with SK is set in Seoul on Feb. 7.

“We still have an outside chance. We will give it our very best on [Jan. 3]. We can beat that team if we come to play,” said coach Luigi Trillo.

“We have to play at a higher level. Focus, adjust in game and react well in our next game. We will focus on this next one as [New] Taipei Kings are leading in our bracket at first,” he added.


Despite being down by nine with less than three minutes left, Meralco was able to cut down the margin to a single point and had a chance to win it on the game’s final possession.

Meralco went to Chris Banchero to create for a potential winner and the heady guard drove to the baseline before dropping it off to Prince Ibeh down low.


But Ibeh couldn’t get a grip on the pass, and the Knights were able to take the ball and escape with a win.

Zach Lofton had 32 points for Meralco, which was without Allein Maliksi. INQ

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TAGS: EASL, Meralco Bolts

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