Bolts dethrone Beermen

With a clutch performance from their star player at the final moments of the game, the Meralco Bolts emerged victorious over their formidable rivals, the San Miguel Beermen, finally securing their long-awaited championship win in front of a packed crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.

Throughout the intense match, the Bolts showcased their unwavering determination and relentless effort, maintaining a lead for over 47 minutes against the Beermen.

Despite June Mar Fajardo’s game-tying three-pointer with just seconds remaining, it was Chris Newsome who rose to the occasion, sinking a difficult fall-away shot to secure an 80-78 victory and claim the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup title.

Newsome, despite struggling with his shooting throughout the game, delivered a standout performance with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. His crucial contributions in Games One, Three, and Four earned him the Finals MVP award, recognizing his pivotal role in the Bolts’ success.

While Newsome rightfully garnered individual accolades, he acknowledged the collective effort of his teammates who stood by his side in overcoming the powerhouse Beermen and preventing their season sweep.

The team’s hard-fought victory against San Miguel marked a significant milestone for the Bolts, ending a 14-year championship drought and proving their resilience after multiple setbacks in previous finals.

Under the guidance of Coach Jorge Gallent, the Beermen were determined to achieve a rare season double by defeating the Magnolia Hotshots in the Commissioner’s Cup before claiming the Philippine Cup crown. However, it was Coach Luigi Trillo and his resilient squad who ultimately seized their moment of glory and etched their names in PBA history.

Key contributions from Allein Maliksi, Chris Banchero, Bong Quinto, Raymond Almazan, Brandon Bates, and Cliff Hodge were instrumental in the Bolts’ triumphant journey to their first Philippine Cup finals victory, a stark contrast to their previous losses in the Governors’ Cup finals against Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel.

Despite facing a late-game scare from Fajardo’s heroics, the Bolts maintained their composure and tenacity, securing their lead early on and withstanding the Beermen’s late surge. Newsome’s clutch shot not only secured the championship but also symbolized the team’s perseverance and refusal to succumb to past disappointments.

The scores:

Meralco 80 – Newsome 15, Maliksi 14, Quinto 11, Banchero 10, Almazan 9, Hodge 6, Caram 6, Torres 6, Bates 3, Jose 0, Rios 0.

San Miguel 78 – Fajardo 21, Perez 14, Lassiter 11, Tautuaa 10, Romeo 9, Trollano 7, Enciso 5, Ross 1, Teng 0, Cruz 0, Brondial 0.

Quarterscores: 29-18, 47-40, 63-58, 80-78.

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