Meralco import Stepheson sets sight on playoffs after loss to Ginebra
ANTIPOLO—Meralco’s hulking import Alex Stepheson definitely felt the sting of dropping their final game in the eliminations of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but he knows that all he has to do is look ahead and and focus on the quarterfinals.
The Bolts settled for a 7-4 record after losing to Ginebra, 90-89, their third straight defeat this conference, Sunday at Ynares Sports Center here.
“It was a tough game, we played hard,” said Stepheson, who had 18 points, 20 rebounds, and five blocks. “Thet have a really good team, we wanted to play strong and get some momentum heading into the playoffs.”
The game between Meralco and Ginebra eventually boiled down to the final seconds with the Gin Kings taking a 90-86 lead with half-a-minute remaining.
Cliff Hodge kept the door open for the Bolts when he drilled in a three-pointer with seven seconds left in the game to cut the deficit to, 90-89.
Ginebra import Justin Brownlee also gave Meralco another chance after missing two free throws. Fortunately for the Gin Kings, Chris Newsome’s pass to a streaking Hodge went out of bounds that eventually sealing the game for the Kings.
For Stepheson, though, the loss will also help Meralco prepare for the quarterfinals.
“We’re going to bounce back and be ready for the first round of the playoffs,” said Stepheson. “We just have to forget about this loss. We learned what mistakes we made. And the playoffs is a new season so we just got to focus on winning and let all that go.”
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