27 September 2013

Bolt's Journey to the Final Four

Meralco Bolt's Defense
Defense has been the key for the Meralco Bolts in the 2013 PBA Governor's Cup, with the Orange and White's ability to shut down their opponents' offenses the biggest reason behind their first ever Final Four appearance.

It started in their first game against the hot-streaking Petro Blaze, where the Bolts held the Boosters to just 83 points for 48 minutes as they coasted their way to a six-point victory. It's the only blemish in the Booster’s record after they stormed to an 8-game winning streak.

Meralco Bolts' defense would carry them past their multi-titled sister team, Talk 'N Text, Alaska Aces, Rain or Shine Elastopainters and Air21 Express in the elimination round. The team incurred two heartbreaking losses in the hands of Barako Bull Energy Drink, 89-90, and San Mig Coffee Mixers, 87-88.

Only two convincing losses were experienced by the Bolts and these were against Global Port, 79-91, and Barangay Ginebra, 85-98, mainly because of the team’s woeful offensive performance. Fortunately, both teams were already eliminated from contending for the crown.

Despite having a twice to beat advantage in their favor going into the quarterfinals, the Bolt’s 2-3 zone and double-teaming defense were considered the prime reasons why they easily hurdled Barako Bull, 86-68, and had a long rest period while waiting for the winner of the San Mig Coffee – Alaska Aces knock-out match.

It was the Bolt’s stingy defense that held Mike Singletary, Barako Bull's import, to a PBA career-low nine points on a 2-for-10 field shooting. The incredible defensive performance also held the Energy Drinks to the conference lowest score or 18 points below the Bolts' league-best average.

Turnovers, blocks, steals, bad shots — you name it and the Bolts have brought it on defense, and it's the reason why they're in their first road to greatness.

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