Fresh and well prepared coming from a weeklong breather, the Meralco Bolts struck hard versus the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 90-73, and closed in on the frontrunners in the PBA Philippine Cup elims at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
A good collective effort from the core players led to the surprise dominant win that lifted the rallying Bolts to joint fourth spot with the Blackwater Bossing and Magnolia Hotshots at 5-3, now just half-game behind the Gin Kings who dropped down to 6-3 with a second straight setback.
Starters Chris Newsome (19 points) and Cliff Hodge (14) and reserves Chris Banchero (17) and Bong Quinto (10) led the scoring parade with their double-digit outputs as the Bolts made it two in a row under sub coach Luigi Trillo.
Trillo mentioned multiple Bolts fuelling their charge and the inputs from head coach Norman Black even while he’s away in the United States attending to his ailing mom.
“Though coach Norman is busy there, he finds time to call,” said Trillo.
And rallying behind their coach, the Bolts came out with great energy and intensity, and visibly outworked a seemingly tired Ginebra side.
“It’s their third game in a week, and probably their (weary) legs catch up on them,” said Trillo.