Meralco's slow and painful All-Filipino growth
Paul Lintag on Jan 20, 2017 08:51 PM
The reigning Rookie of the Year emphasized growth on the side of the Bolts and just going for what the team can actually control despite struggling in the All-Filipino for a second straight season.
After a six-game, mid-conference meltdown almost totally destroyed their playoff hopes, the Meralco Bolts somehow found a way to keep themselves alive in the 2017 Philippine Cup.
They did so by upsetting the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Friday, a win that not only let them regain confindence and remain in the playoff race, but also affirmed that the team is on the right track in a slow, painful growing process.
"I think that's what we showed today, a great team effort. It's just great for the morale of the team to finally get a win, finally get that monkey off our back and know we're doing something right," second-year forward Chris Newsome said following Meralco's 82-72 victory.
"We already got two wins more than our previous Philippine Cup so I think we're slowly improving," he added, going back to the fact that the Bolts finished with an embarassing 1-10 record in the same tournament last season.
Meralco is still limping with a 3-7 mark this year and the team's playoff hopes almost entirely depends on other teams blowing away their own opportunities to advance but Newsome says that's the least of Meralco's concern right now.
The reigning Rookie of the Year emphasized growth on the side of the Bolts and just going for what the team can actually control.
And part of the things the team can control is their last regular season game against Star which if they win, should at least give them a better chance to sneak into the playoffs.
"It's a long season so we don't just wanna shut down and let everything that we've done go to waste," Newsome said who finished with a game-high 19 points vs. ROS.
"The mindset is to control what we can control. The only thing that we're in control of right now is winning our last game against Star and everything else is kinda out of our hands. We just gotta hope for the best situation. We just gotta focus on what we can control and that's our effort in practice and attention to detail when it comes to games," he added.
With Jimmy Alapag retired and Jared Dillinger just returning from a hamstring injury he suffered late last season, Meralco has mostly relied on its young core so far in the All-Filipino.
This latest victory, despite the string of defeats that came before it, was a nice boost for the squad that has kept things together pretty nicely this year.
"It's really big for us because the mood in the locker room is pretty heavy whenever you're losing, especially six straight games," Newsome said.
"We try to stay positive and we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, that's kinda the approach that we took today," he added.
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