Meralco Bolts

The Meralco Bolts[1][2] is a professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association. The team began in 2010 after the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) acquired the PBA franchise of the Sta. Lucia Realtors.[3] The team is one of three PBA teams presently under the control of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan – the other teams being the TNT Tropang Giga and the NLEX Road Warriors.

Meralco Bolts
2022–23 Meralco Bolts season
Meralco Bolts logo
Founded2010
HistoryMeralco Bolts (2010–present)
Team colorsNavy blue, orange, white
     
CompanyManila Electric Company
Board governorWilliam Pamintuan
Maria Luisa Alvendia (alternate)
Ryan Gregorio (alternate)
Team managerPaolo Trillo
Head coachNorman Black
OwnershipManuel V. Pangilinan
Affiliation(s)Meralco Bolts 3x3
ChampionshipsNone
4 Finals appearances
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Light uniform jersey
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Team colours
Light uniform
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Dark uniform jersey
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Team colours
Dark uniform
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Alternate uniform jersey
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Team colours
Alternate uniform
Active affiliates of Meralco Bolts
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Basketball Football Volleyball

HistoryEdit

MICAA daysEdit

The MERALCO Reddy Kilowatts was a powerhouse basketball team that played in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) from 1968 to 1972. Operated by the MERALCO Athletic Club of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), they briefly joined the MICAA prior to World War II and was re-admitted in 1968. The team was crowned as the 1971 MICAA Open champions, beating the Crispa Redmanizers.[4]

The demise of the YCO-Ysmael Steel rivalry following the breakup of the Ysmael Steel team in 1968, paved the way for the MERALCO-Crispa rivalry starting in 1970. The rivalry came into full-bloom during the 1971 MICAA All-Filipino championship, when Reynoso and Jaworski punched referees Eriberto “Ting” Cruz and Jose “Joe” Obias for what was the duo perceived questionable calls against MERALCO. The incident resulted to lifetime suspensions meter against the two that were lifted eventually so that the two can join the national team in the 1973 Asian Basketball Championship.

The team disbanded in 1972 in the wake of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines, wherein the Marcos government seized MERALCO from Eugenio López, Sr.

PBA entry and the Sta. Lucia Realtors franchise acquisitionEdit

In June 2010, there were reports that Meralco expressed interest in joining the PBA and intended to buy either Sta. Lucia's or Barako Bull's franchise after both teams unloaded most of their major players.[5] After Barako Bull informed the board that they intended to stay with the league for the 2010–11 season, Sta. Lucia then filed a "leave of absence."[6] On August 10, the PBA board finally approved the sale of the Sta. Lucia franchise to Meralco. The team would be named the Meralco Bolts.

2010–2011 PBA seasonEdit

The Bolts debuted during the 2010–11 season with a lineup that included Mark Cardona, Asi Taulava, Nelbert Omolon, Marlou Aquino, Beau Belga, Dennis Daa, Chris Ross, Ogie Menor, Pong Escobal and Chris Pacana. Shawn Weinstein, Ford Arao, Khasim Mirza and Bam-bam Gamalinda were the first players to be drafted by the franchise. They started the Philippine Cup with a win against the crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra Kings. In the middle of the conference, they traded some of their players in exchange for Hans Thiele, Mark Isip and Reed Juntilla respectively. They compiled a 7–7 record, which was enough to take them to the quarterfinals. However, they lost to the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados 2–0. Before the Commissioner's Cup, they made a huge trade by acquiring Solomon Mercado along with Paolo Bugia and Erick Rodriguez. They also signed 3-point shooter Renren Ritualo. Despite a revamped roster and imports Anthony Dandridge and Chamberlain Oguchi, they did not past the eliminations after having a 3–6 record. The same happened during the Governors Cup when they had a 3–5 record.

2011–2012 PBA seasonEdit

The Bolts rebuilt its line-up during the offseason, releasing Renren Ritualo, Hans Thiele, Reed Juntilla and Paolo Bugia, as well as acquiring through trades Mark Yee, Mark Macapagal, Chico Lanete, Chris Timberlake and signing free agents Mark Borboran and Bryan Faundo. During the 2011 PBA Draft, Meralco selected Gilas reserve Jason Ballesteros, as well as Gilbert Bulawan to augment their frontline. In the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup, they finished at 6th place at 8–6 win–loss record but swept by the Petron Blaze Boosters. In the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup, they finished at another sixth place at 4–5 on that 102–98 upset win over Powerade Tigers but in another miss to the semifinals for the Bolts. In the 2012 PBA Governors Cup, they finished three straight sixth places in their franchise. In the knockout game for the last semis berth, they defeated the Powerade Tigers, 94–86 to advance to their first semifinals appearance in their franchise history.

2012–2013 PBA seasonEdit

Ramon Segismundo announced the team's uniform for the 2012–13 season will have similar design features with the 1971 uniforms worn by the Meralco Reddy Kilowatts.[7]

2013–14 seasonEdit

The Bolts made some offseason moves prior to the start of the season. They acquired "El Granada" Gary David from GlobalPort in exchange for Chris Ross, Chris Timberlake and Meralco's 2016 and 2017 second round picks.[8] They have also traded the rights of Asi Taulava to Air21 in exchange for Mike Cortez,[9] shipped Mark Cardona to Air21 via a three-team trade which in the process, acquired Rabeh Al-Hussaini.[10] They also acquired Kerby Raymundo from Ginebra for Jay-R Reyes. Raymundo has yet to play for the Bolts since he was traded because of a nagging knee injury, and is contemplating retirement.

Midway thru the eliminations, they signed up Danny Ildefonso for the rest of the conference, who was unceremoniously let go by Petron. After realizing that Danny I still has what it takes to play, and can still help the team in terms of his leadership and positive influence, the Bolts signed him for the rest of the season.[11]

During the PBA Philippine Cup conference, they were off to a good start, and were able to beat top-seed teams like Ginebra. However, they suffered losing streak and ended up in a four-way tie with Alaska, GlobalPort and Barako Bull. Since Barako Bull and GlobalPort have higher quotients, Meralco was forced to play a sudden death game with Alaska Aces to determine the eighth and final playoff spot. The Aces defeated them and thus they were eliminated from playoff contention.

2014–15 seasonEdit

In 2014–15 PBA Philippine Cup conference, they performed well, even eliminating the defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots, but were later eliminated by Alaska Aces

In 2015 Commissioner's Cup, they are in an undefeated streak due to their good performance. The team also had its import Josh Davis who helped to maintain their great streak.

In the Governor's Cup, the team tapped Seiya Ando as their import, alongside Andre Emmett. Due to this, Ando became the first Japanese import in the league.

2015–16 seasonEdit

The 2015–16 PBA Philippine Cup was not as good as they had before. They suffered the worst with a 1–10 record. However, the team drafted Chris Newsome and Baser Amer.

The team improved very well in the Commissioner's Cup, where they were led by ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv BC player Arinze Onuaku, who would win the Best Import of the Conference award. The team also went through some setbacks, with the suspension of Gary David in a game during an elimination round, due to insubordination. David was later removed from the line-up and becoming an unrestricted agent list.[12]

The team also went to the Finals for the first time in their franchise history on the Governors' Cup. The Bolts were able to upset the top-seed TNT KaTropa by winning their best-of-five semifinal series in four games. They faced the crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the Finals. Meralco entered the Finals as the underdogs, but managed to put up a fight and even steal Game 1. Although Ginebra won in six games, it was considered to be one of the most entertaining Finals series in recent memory. Meralco's import, Allen Durham also won the Best Import award and rookie guard/forward Chris Newsome won Rookie of the Year.

MascotEdit

 
Biboy Liwanag during Meralco's semifinal game versus Alaska on April 25, 2016

"Biboy Liwanag" is the main mascot of the Bolts. He was first introduced as the team's mascot during their maiden season in 2010.

Current rosterEdit

Players Coaches
Pos. # POB Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
G 1   Black, Aaron 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1996–12–03 Ateneo
G 4   Dario, Diego 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 145 lb (66 kg) 1997–01–06 UP Diliman
G 6   Banchero, Chris 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1989–01–24 Seattle Pacific
F 7   Hodge, Cliff 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1988–02–03 Reedley
G/F 11   Newsome, Chris 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1990–07–25 Ateneo
F 12   Belo, Mac (IN) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1993–02–12 Far Eastern
F 14   McDaniels, K. J. (I) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1993–02–09 Clemson
G 15   Johnson, Franky 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1993–08–15 Warner Pacific
G 17   Caram, Anjo 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 159 lb (72 kg) 1991–01–14 San Beda
G/F 19   Quinto, Bong 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 1994–12–15 Letran
C 20   Almazan, Raymond (C) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 194 lb (88 kg) 1989–08–02 Letran
F/C 21   Hugnatan, Reynel 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1978–11–03 Manila
G/F 22   Maliksi, Allein 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1987–09–18 UST
G/F 23   Pasaol, Alvin 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1995–05–06 UE
F 24   Jose, Raymar 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1992–08–06 Far Eastern
G/F 27   Rios, Jansen 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1991–10–28 Adamson
F/C 32   Pascual, Kyle 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1990–04–13 San Beda
F/C 97   Baclao, Nonoy (FA) 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1987–06–15 Ateneo
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Team manager



Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (I) Import
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • (R) Rookie
  • (3x3) Assigned to 3x3 team
  •   Injured

Roster



Head coachesEdit

Name Start End Seasons Overall Record Best finish
W L PCT G
Ryan Gregorio 2010 2014 4 71 89 .444 160 Semifinals
Norman Black 2014 Incumbent

Season-by-season recordsEdit

Records from the 2022–23 PBA season:
Conf. Team name Elimination round Playoffs
Finish W L PCT Stage Results
PHI Meralco Bolts 5th/12 7 4 .636 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Meralco 2, Barangay Ginebra 1
San Miguel 4, Meralco 3
COM 10th/13 4 8 .333 Did not qualify
GOV TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
Total elimination round 11 12 .478 1 Semifinal appearance
Total playoffs 5 5 .500 0 Finals appearance
Total 2022–23 16 17 .485 0 Championships
Total franchise 235 245 .490 0 Championships

*one-game playoffs
**team had the twice-to-beat advantage

Players of noteEdit

Other notable playersEdit

ImportsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Meralco-Ginebra game to open PBA’s 36th season Archived August 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, GMANews.TV, August 24, 2010.
  2. ^ Consumers won't pay for Bolts, Sporting Chance by Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star, August 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "Meralco makes power move, joins pro league". August 10, 2010. Archived from the original on August 16, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "The legacy of Reddy Kilowatts – The Manila Times Online". www.manilatimes.net. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Meralco eyes cage return via PBA next season Archived August 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Rey Joble, GMANews.TV, June 24, 2010
  6. ^ Barako to compete anew; SLR bids goodbye Archived September 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Rey Joble, GMANews.TV, July 13, 2010
  7. ^ Joble, Rey (September 22, 2012). "Meralco to wear throwback MICAA jerseys in upcoming PBA campaign". InterAKTV. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012. Rey Joble, InterAKTV, September 22, 2012
  8. ^ INQUIRER.net. "EL GRANADA FINALLY FINDS A NEW HOME". pba.inquirer.net. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  9. ^ Badua, Snow (September 6, 2013). "Air21 Express acquire Taulava from Meralco in exchange for Cortez – SPIN.PH". Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Badua, Snow (October 14, 2013). "Al-Hussaini moves from TnT to Meralco as Air21 lands Cardona in three-team trade deal – SPIN.PH". Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  11. ^ Dy, Richard (February 18, 2014). "'Positive influence' Danny Ildefonso signed by Meralco for the rest of season – SPIN.PH". Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  12. ^ Leongson, Randolph B. (March 17, 2016). "After suspension, Meralco drops Gary David". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016.

External linksEdit