Meralco Bolts upset Ryukyu Kings in EASL

Posted by watchmen
December 16, 2023
Posted in SPORTS


Chris Newsome delivered clutch baskets for the Meralco Bolts in their overtime win against the Ryukyu Golden Kings. (PBA photo) 
Chris Newsome delivered clutch baskets for the Meralco Bolts in their overtime win against the Ryukyu Golden Kings. (PBA photo)


Chris Newsome delivered in clutch as the Meralco Bolts scored a 97-88 overtime victory against Japan’s Ryukyu Golden Kings in the East Asian Super League (EASL) at Studio City in Macau on Wednesday night, December 13.

Facing a four-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, Newsome completed a rare four-point play as the Bolts sent the match into extension period with the score tied at 80 apiece.

Newsome then teamed up with Clifford Hodge and imports Zach Lofton and Prince Ibeh in the extra period to put away the Golden Kings and power Meralco’s breakthrough win in the tournament.

Lofton, who came from a 54-point performance in his PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut with the Bolts against the NorthPort Batang Pier on December 10, spearheaded the attack for the winning team with 35 points and six rebounds.

Newsome backed up Lofton offensively with 27 points and eight rebounds, and former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles naturalized player Ibeh ended with 15 points as they improved to 1-2 in Group B.

“We are happy to have a complete lineup this time against Ryukyu,” Bolts head coach Luigi Trillo said.

“We still need something to improve, but overall, we’re within striking distance from the Top 2,” he added.

Vic Law finished with 27 points and nine rebounds for the reigning Japan B.League champion Golden Kings, but couldn’t convert on a potential game-winner with a second to go in regulation.

Keita Imamura chipped in 19 markers, while Ryuichi Kishimoto and American import Jack Cooley contributed 15 and 10 markers, respectively, as the Golden Kings dropped to 2-2.

The Dai Oketani-mentored Golden Kings played minus Filipino forward Carl Tamayo and American import Allen Durham, who is a former resident import of Meralco in the PBA.

The Bolts will return to action on December 27 against the Korean Basketball League’s Seoul SK Knights, to be bannered by Filipino-Italian guard Juan Gomez de Liaño.


MERALCO 97 — Lofton 35, Newsome 27, Ibeh 15, Hodge 6, Almazan 5, Maliksi 5, Dario 2, Banchero 2, Quinto 0, Rios 0, Bates 0, Torres 0.

RYUKYU 88 — Law 27, Imamura 19, Kishimoto 15, Cooley 10, Onodera 9, Tashiro 4, Maki 2, Watanabe 2, Uematsu 0, Arakawa 0, Matsuwaki 0.

Quarterscores: 17-21, 38-37, 57-57, 80-all, 97-88./ASC, WDJ

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