Everyone from the Meralco Bolts side was on a high Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. They have every reason to feel that way as the seven-year-old franchise took down one of the league giants in San Miguel Beermen in a thriller.
But it wasn’t just a simple victory. It was more than that.
The win helped them clinch the top spot and a twice-to-beat advantage heading into the 2017 Governor’s Cup playoffs. This will be the first time in franchise history that they will head into the next round as the top-seeded team.
Furthermore, it marks their first win over the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen after six long conferences.
With that, the seven-year-old franchise could not be prouder of what they have achieved, especially head coach Norman Black, who took the coaching reins from Ryan Gregorio back in 2014, and from there, built the Bolts into a contender.
“It’s a big win for the Meralco program,” lauded Black, after their 104-101 win. “I think it’s probably the first time we finished number one at the end of the elimination round.
“Now it’s on to the playoffs where things are a little more difficult.”
There may be reasons to celebrate on a Sunday, but the work won’t stop for the title-hungry Bolts. For now, their sights are locked into another challenger that is the Blackwater Elite, a team led and powered by import Henry Walker.
“The focus now is just to prepare for Blackwater, because we know they’ve played very well this conference and have one of the best imports [in the league],” Black warned.
“We have to be ready for them.”