Meralco is eyeing to sustain its hot start to the conference when it tangles against Terrafirma in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Surging ahead at the onset of the season-ending the conference, the Bolts look to keep their record unblemished in their third game against the Dyip in the 4:30 p.m. clash before another interesting showdown between the NorthPort Batang Pier and the NLEX Road Warriors follows suit in the second game at 5:45 p.m.
Meralco was put to an acid test against NorthPort and had to lean on the timely hits from Bong Quinto, Chris Newsome and import KJ McDaniels to put the game away in the waning minutes for a 107-102 triumph.
McDaniels was a picture of just pure dominance in his second tour of duty with Meralco, averaging 27 points and 22.5 rebounds in his first two games. Meralco head coach Norman Black lauded the efforts of his import especially on the glass as that, according to him, completed the Bolts defense.
“We've been putting a lot of emphasis talking to him about what we need from him for us to win. We can get points from around the team as far as to get the points enough to win but we really need him to control the boards because that completes our defense,” Black said of McDaniels.
That Bolts defense is also what they exactly needed against the Dyip who went off to a huge offensive display in its first game of the conference even despite falling to the hands of the Converge FiberXers, 130-115.
Terrafirma engaged Converge in a shootout in the first half behind Jordan Williams who had a rousing debut with 46 points built on eight triples to go along with his six rebounds. The high-scoring import though will need all the help he could get from his supporting cast if they wish to put the first stain to Meralco’s record.
Juami Tiongson, Alex Cabagnot and even new addition Kevin Ferrer will have that task of providing the hand to Williams especially with Meralco now complete and healthy with the return of Chris Newsome and Aaron Black from injury to join an already potent local cast of Quinto, Cliff Hodge and Allein Maliksi.