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Fresh international experience boosts Meralco for new PBA season

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts’ recent international stint will help the squad greatly in the upcoming PBA season, head coach Luigi Trillo said. 

The Bolts played in Doha, Qatar last month, ending the basketball tourney with a 1-4 win-loss record.

Speaking to reporters during the PBA Media Day Wednesday, Trillo said that the Doha tournament gave the team much-needed exposure ahead of the new season.

He said that with the first three games they played, they only lost by single digits, which is a positive sign especially in international play. 

“To get experience and to play through those stuff, I think makes us a better team. The end goal in mind, obviously we want to do well,” the coach told reporters. 

Aside from the Doha tournament, the team will also play in the East Asia Super League (EASL.)

Meralco’s first game in the EASL will be against Carl Tamayo and the Ryukyu Golden Kings on November 15 in Japan. 

“It is such a good thing to expose our guys there,” Trillo added. 

The Bolts, meanwhile, will kick off its PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on November 8. 

Winning the elusive first PBA title is also at the top of Meralco’s priority list ahead of the season.

“Our goal is always to play at our best. Get an opportunity to win. I look at the other teams and we’re right there. I think we built [the team] the right way of trying to get into the draft, we tried to build our culture,” he said. 

Trillo also underscored the need of the team to also build up the young guys.

“We always wanna be there and I think we have the tools. I think we also have to understand that some of the guys are a little bit older in age… This is an opportunity for us… we’re skill-strong, but we are open minded to adding youth to balance it out,” he said.