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Hodge, Meralco already looking at next conference



After Jay Washington’s breakaway slam in the third quarter, which made it a 66-53 Globalport lead, it sure looked like the Meralco Bolts were about to fold over.

Not one player got down on defense, and after that thunderous jam, the Batang Pier lead eventually ballooned to 24 late in the third.

The Bolts started the game against the Batang Pier Wednesday night the same way they started the season: against expectations, undesirably, and uninsipiring.

They allowed 22 points in the first six minutes of the match, and although they kept themselves within distance, Globalport would always step it up a notch. But the Bolts kept fighting. To give them credit, they had lost six games by just four points or less, and it was only fitting for them to not go down without a fight.

“It’s another game that went down the wire for us,” Cliff Hodge said.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Hodge, Meralco already looking at next conference

Having erased the 24-point gap and even having tied the score in the fourth, the Bolts were close to notching their second win. But they succumbed again in the clutch, falling to 1-9 and saying goodbye to the Philippine Cup.

It had been a preseason full of hope for the Bolts, whose acquisitions and off-season moves have had pundits expecting more from the competitive group. But things went astray for the team.

“We are still learning what’s it going to take for us to win. We’ll figure it out,” Hodge added, admitting competition got way tougher this season.

“Every team got better. I guess our chemistry wasn’t there. We have seven new guys. We haven’t adjusted. Honestly, you can’t take any game for granted. Everyone’s gonna play hard. It’s tough.”

With Meralco now eliminated from playoff contention, Hodge says the team is already in the process of moving on and looking forward to the Commissioner’s Cup, hoping to turn their fortunes around.

“Yeah, we are,” he said. “We still have one more game we are looking to win but we are looking toward that next conference. We just need to get better. It’s a long way for us. We just talked about getting better individually for us to get better as a team.”

“We are not going to quit. We will keep fighting until we get over the hump. We really want to get back to (winning).”

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