Tough battle ahead as Meralco reps PH in FIBA Champions Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The Meralco Bolts are in for a tough ride in the 2018 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. 

Meralco head coach Norman Black believes it's going to be "very, very difficult" as the Bolts see action in the annual tournament that will gather the region's best teams in Thailand from September 27 to October 2. 

Standing in the way of the Bolts' road to Asian club supremacy are defending Champions Cup titlists Al Riyadi of Lebanon, Chinese Basketball Association kings Liaoning Flying Leopards and Korean Basketball League champs Seoul SK Knights. 

Japan's B.League champions Alvark Tokyo, Chinese Taipei's Pauian, Thailand's Mono Vampire and Iran's Petrochimi Bandar Imam BC will also participate in the tourney. 

"I know that we're going up against some of the top club teams in Asia so obviously, it's going to be very, very difficult in the tournament," Black told Rappler in a phone interview. "We're just going to do our best and represent the country."

To bolster their squad, Black said the Bolts will bring in another reinforcement to pair with two-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham. 

Meralco has a PBA game – versus Rain or Shine on September 28 – that coincides with the Champions Cup but Black expects the PBA to reschedule the clash.'s Gerry Ramos first reported about Meralco's participation in the meet where San Miguel was initially slated to represent the country. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.