1st Finals Appearance: Beaten by Ginebra on Game 6
2nd Final Appearance: Loss to Ginebra on Game 7
The Bolts moved one game closer to the championship, being able to survive game number 6 that brought them to despair two seasons ago against the People’s Champ and Defending Champ Barangay Ginebra. With this seemingly sprouting improvement, will they be able to bag the ever delighted title?
Who knows? No one has the knowledge that would bring us to certainty but here are some good points that will help us predict Meralco’s possible fate this year.
1 – Ginebra’s a lot weaker without Brownlee
The Gin Kings were able to bag their recent championships with a huge help of their ever trusted import Justin Brownlee. It is safe to say that they couldn’t have made it happen without this guy who shot a miraculous trey on game 6 for their 1st title and played huge all throughout the finals series up to the thrilling do or die game 7. But without Justin, which is Ginebra’s edge against other teams in the league.
The defending Champs is a whole lot different team. The big line up makes them a lot slower and besides, the team winning championships in an importless cup with the present line up can barely be remembered.
But does this mean the Bolts can finally dethrone their Rival?
2 – So as the Bolts
If Ginebra is weaker with an all Filipino lineup, so as the Bolts with the same fact as Ginebra, not reaching the finals without the two tine best import Allen Durham. Durham is relentless offensively, much better than Brownlee’s scoring especially on the inside. Ginebra’s big men could match his size but not his quickness and skills so Durham is the conqueror of the shaded area.
Without Durham, the dominance of the Twin Towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar will prevail plus a backup support of the rebounding point guard Scottie Thompson.
But what if Bolts are a lot stronger than Brgy. Ginebra is in an all Filipino match up?
3 – Ginebra isn’t Bolts’ only opponent
In fact, the biggest and most powerful team in the all Filipino league can be the San Miguel Beermen led by the 4 time MVP ‘The Kraken’ June Mar Fajardo and their ferocious outside gunners, Lassiter, Ross, and Cabagnot. Not to mention but the addition of Christian Standhardinger is but huge. It will be like facing a bit smaller version of the Kraken.
Bolts’ lineup is getting old and reinforcement of new legs is their necessity to win championships. Chris Newsome shall step up huge and play the point guard position effectively. Hodge must dominate the boards. Taking down the weaker Brgy Ginebra won’t be enough to win them championships.
If Meralco Bolts can show that they have kept up against the San Miguel Beermen, they will make it to the finals once again, the rest is up to be predicted once they are on the final stage.