Jun 15, 2024

Bolts ready to end chase for elusive first crown?

On the threshold of a great first for the franchise. On the brink of ultimate glory. On the fringes of a great, great breakthrough.

One last win to get to the mountaintop, and the Meralco Bolts are determined to make that one final effort in a final push to get there.

"Right now finals is nothing. Nobody remembers second place. You've got to win one to gain the respect. That's on our mind, that's our focus," said coach Luigi Trillo, stressing their desire to deliver the killer blow versus embattled rival San Miguel Beer in Game Six Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Come through with it, and the Bolts will finally end a long, long chase for a first crown since joining the PBA in 2010.

Get it done, and Trillo and his troops will complete the tough task of stripping the Beermen of the crown and bury the memories of failures in previous shots at a championship - all four against the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

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The Bolts are on the cusp of a first title following a 92-88 escape win in Game Five Friday.

The two teams have been on a nip-and-tuck affair in the series. Chris Newsome and his teammates are bent on snapping the trend, hoping to win the match that tips off at 6:30 p.m. and be the first team to beat San Miguel Beer in All-Filipino Finals in the June Mar Fajardo era.

However, coach Jorge Gallent has made an assurance the series isn't going to end Sunday, vowing that the true San Miguel Beer will again show up in Game Six and drag Meralco to a winner-take-all.

But it's not hard to expect a slam bang Sunday showdown with a big, big prize at stake.

Trillo is realistic they need fire, determination and hard work to close out the series.

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They hope learning from past mistakes can help them get through now.

"It takes a lot of trials sa finals. Masakit 'yun (losses) but we relish it. It's a learning thing for us, you grow from that and our guys have been so relentless on that, alam namin pagkukulang," said Trillo.

"Those things kind of make you have a chip on your shoulder," he added.(SB)