The Meralco Bolts are in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Big games from Chris Newsome and four other teammates helped propel the Bolts to a 105-89 swamping of the winless Terrafirma Dyip Thursday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Newsome tallied a game-high 19 points for the Bolts, who finished the elimination round with a 7-4 win-loss card. They will either occupy the fourth or fifth seed in the quarterfinals.
The 6’2” Newsome struck hardest in the first two quarters, first making six points apiece with Raymund Almazan as the Bolts broke free from a 9-all deadlock and never looked back after taking a 27-15 edge at the end of the first 10 minutes.
The 31-year-old Newsome added eight points in the second period, with his triple allowing the Bolts to enjoy a 41-30 edge in the 6:08 mark.
“Moving forward, we are there. We are in the playoffs,” said Bolts’ assistant coach Luigi Trillo.
Aaron Black made 16 points, with his three-pointer in the final 5:58 of the third giving the Bolts at 67-53 spread.
Aldrech Ramos fired 24 points for the Dyip, who are winless after 11 outings, the same ignominy suffered by Blackwater in the PBA’s last all-Filipino tournament.
Almazan and Allein Maliksi shot 14 points, while Bong Quinto chipped in 13 for the Bolts, whose inclusion into the quarterfinals will put them in a best-of-three clash with either Ginebra San Miguel or the Magnolia Hotshots.
Ginebra and Magnolia currently share third and fourth positions with similar 7-3 win-loss slates.