Aug 02, 2020

Hodge not losing focus on winning a breakthrough championship

DESPITE the pandemic, Cliff Hodge remains focused on the bigger task ahead.

The nine-year veteran is still chasing a first ever PBA championship, which keeps him even more motivated once Season 45 finally resumes.

Hodge has been to the finals thrice with the Meralco Bolts, but always ended up as bridesmaid to Barangay Ginebra.

The feeling may be a bit frustrating, but that doesn't mean the Fil-Am forward is giving up on his dream.

"Every time I lose a championship, it just makes me get back to the gym, work on my craft, try to get better, and try to eventually win one," said Hodge.

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Prospect for Meralco ending its franchise title drought appeared to be very bright after landing a needed big man in Raymond Almazan during the mid-season to fill in the gap at the middle.

But the 6-foot-8 Almazan went down with an injury during the course of the title series, and the Bolts were never the same again after the incident as they lost to the Kings in five games.

"Unfortunately, we have been going up against Ginebra every single time," said Hodge of the Bolts, who also lost to the popular ballclub during the Governors' Cup finals of 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Despite the setbacks, there hardly is any quit in Hodge.

"Basketball means a lot to us. And experiences make us want to work harder, to strive for something we haven't done yet, especially for me which is the need for a championship," he said.

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During the break, the Meralco forward kept himself in shape by working out, running a lot, and recently, got hooked into biking. (RG)