Meralco was left to deal with the hard reality of having to settle for another runner-up trophy following its latest defeat to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
Almost all Meralco players came to center court and received the consolation prize from PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and chairman Ricky Vargas, with reserve big man Jammer Jamito later lifting the piece of hardware.
But having to get second place for the fourth time in as many meetings against Gin Kings was obviously a hard pill to swallow for the Bolts, who even had a 2-1 lead in the series before dropping the next three.
Meralco players and coaches politely declined interviews, understandably so given the disappointing ending to what was another impressive conference.
The Bolts gave themselves a shot to get the franchise’s first-ever PBA championship after placing fourth in the eliminations and getting past the San Miguel Beermen and Magnolia Pambansang Manok in the playoffs.
Import Tony Bishop proved to be one of the keys in Meralco reaching the pinnacle, even if he had games that left plenty to be desired.
A player who may have proven his worth was Aaron Black, defying unfair perceptions of only being taken merely because of being coach Norman Black’s son with his consistent play in the title series.
Chris Newsome, one of the few Meralco players who were part of past heartbreaks against Ginebra, also showed some flashes of finally leading Meralco to the Promised Land.
Meralco won two of the first three games behind its defensive effort, even against Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee. But the Bolts couldn’t sustain it as the Gin Kings were able to make adjustments on their way to another championship.
Chris Banchero was obviously bothered by an upper body injury that limited his play, Allein Maliksi couldn’t find the consistency after shooting well for most of the conference while Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge had to endure facing the likes of Christian Standhardinger and later the returning Japeth Aguilar.
There will be a lot of deep thinking for Meralco as it goes into the offseason hoping to pick up the pieces and once again try to finally reach the mountain top.