After finally hurdling Barangay Ginebra in the playoffs, stand-in coach Luigi Trillo said Meralco is now shifting their focus to the bigger wall against San Miguel Beer in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

Photo from PBA

The Bolts were still in euphoria after finally getting the monkey off their backs with their pulsating 106-104 victory to eliminate the Gin Kings in Game 3, but Trillo was quick to remind his players that the job is still far from over especially that they are facing the powerhouse Beermen side in a best-of-seven series.

“San Miguel is No.1. It’s a different animal altogether. Siyempre may June Mar Fajardo sila, they have Tautuaa, they have Vic Manuel. Of course they added CJ Perez, there’s Lassiter and Ross,” Trillo said of San Miguel.

“They’re gonna have their hands full but I’m confident in our guys that we can put up a good fight. We have guys all around who can chip in and it’s gonna be different kasi ngayon seven games,” he added.

Bolts team captain Chris Newsome echoed the sentiments of his coach. While he admitted that it felt good to finally get one against the Gin Kings, they could still go further and chase history this conference

“I think the motivation for us is that Meralco has never been to the All-Filipino finals. I think we can use that as our motivation, that we still have more history that we can make,” said Newsome who played a pivotal role in their quarterfinals series along with Meralco’s top guns Allein Maliksi and Aaron Black.

“This is one step, that we’re able to get over the hump against Ginebra. But there is another goal that we have not reached either, which is getting to the finals in the All-Filipino. So there is still motivation there for us,” he added.

Unlike against the long stretch of futility against Ginebra, Meralco has San Miguel’s number in their last two playoff meetings.

The Bolts overcame a twice-to-win disadvantage and dispatched the Beermen in 2020 Philippine Cup before asserting their mastery over the star-studded crew last conference when Meralco sent SMB packing in the quarterfinals last conference.

“Ginebra was step one. Everyone knows, San Miguel is one of the best teams, if not the best team in the All-Filipino conference. We have to go through them if we want to get to the finals. It is a great challenge for us.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (