The Meralco Bolts will clash with Mahinda Floodbuster tomorrow in the opener of the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup. After a difficult defat against Mahindra in the previous conference, Chris Newsome is fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead.
“It will definitely be a tough game. We lost against them in the Philippine Cup, so we definitely want to come out with some fire and try to get that back. James White (Mahindra’s import), he’s an athletic freak, so he’s going to be a big presence for them,” said Newsome.
“We played them in the quarterfinals before, so I’m sure they’re still trying to come back at us for that. It’s just going to be a good matchup on both ends. It’s gonna be competitive and crucial to get that first win of the season. I think we got NLEX after that, so it’s really really important for us to get to a good start if we want to be in those top 6 spots,” added the Bolts guard.
After a forgettable first conference this season, a first win would be massive in bringing confidence back into the team. Given the challenge that awaits, Meralco’s import, Alex Stepheson, is being relied on to provide a big boost inside.
“Preparation’s good. We’re getting the big guy. We’re getting Alex acclimated to what our system is and what we expect from him and his role on our team. He’s a big presence for us as far as having a big guy inside ’cause that’s something that we lack,” Newsome mentioned.
Besides Newsome and Stepheson, the whole team is putting in extra effort to bolster their chance for a playoffs spot.
“As far as preparation goes, everyone’s working hard. Everyone’s putting a lot of time and extra work. We’re expecting some good things to happen this conference. We’ve learned from all of our previous mistakes from the last conference.”
The battle between the Bolts and Mahindra tomorrow will start at 4:15 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.