|Team colors||Blue, Red, Yellow, and White
|Owner(s)||Manuel V. Pangilinan|
|Board governor||Ramon Segismundo|
|Company||Manila Electric Company|
|Head coach||Ryan Gregorio|
The MERALCO Bolts are a professional basketball team playing in the Philippine Basketball Association. The franchise began in 2010 when the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) acquired the PBA franchise of the Sta. Lucia Realtors. The team is one of two PBA teams under the control of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan - the other team being the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters.
- 1 History
- 2 MERALCO Bolts
- 3 Current roster
- 4 Head Coaches
- 5 Season-by-season records
- 6 Players of note
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
MERALCO Reddy Kilowatts
In 1968, MERALCO joined the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA). The team was named the MERALCO Reddy Kilowatts. Its nucleus consisted of players from the just-disbanded Ysmael Steel Admirals – namely, Alberto “Big Boy” Reynoso, Alfonso “Boy” Marquez, Jimmy Mariano and Orlando Bauzon. Other players included, Ramon Lucindo, Robert Jaworski, Fort Acuña, Francis Arnaiz, Bobby Salonga, Arthur Herrera, Larry Mumar and Jumbo Salvador. The team was coached by Lauro Mumar from 1970 to 1972.
With the demise of the YCO-Ysmael Steel rivalry in 1968 (due to Ysmael Steel's sudden disbanding), the Reddy Kilowatts and the Crispa-Floro Redmanizers began its own rivalry beginning in 1970. The rivalry came into full bloom during the 1971 MICAA All-Filipino championship, when Reynoso and Jaworski mauled referees Eriberto “Ting” Cruz and Jose “Joe” Obias in retaliation for what Reynoso and Jaworski perceived to be dubious calls against them.
The Reddy Kilowatts won one MICAA championship, the 1971 MICAA Open. The team disbanded in 1972 in the wake of the lifetime suspensions meted out to Reynoso and Jaworski. The suspensions were lifted through the efforts of Presidential Assistant, Guillermo “Gimo” de Vega in time for the 1973 FIBA Asia Championship. Reynoso, Jaworski, Bauzon, Acuña and Arnaiz went on to form the nucleus of the Toyota Comets that same year. The Comets carried on MERALCO’s rivalry with Crispa beginning in 1974, during the 1974 MICAA All-Filipino tournament.
On 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. 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." 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 season
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 season
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 season
2013-2014 PBA Season
Meralco 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. They have also traded the rights of Asi Taulava to Air21 in exchange for Mike Cortez, shipped Mark Cardona to Air21 via a three-team trade which in the process, acquired Rabeh Al-Hussaini. 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.
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.
Meralco Bolts roster
|Meralco Bolts head coaches|
- Records from the 2011–12 PBA season:
|Conf.||Team name||Elimination round||Playoffs|
|PHI||Meralco Bolts||6th/10||8||6||.571||Quarterfinals||Petron 2, Meralco 0|
|COM||6th/10||4||5||.444||Quarterfinals||B-Meg 2, Meralco 1|
|GOV||6th/10||4||5||.444||2nd elim. playoff
|Meralco 94, Powerade 86*
6th overall (6–8), 2–3 in semifinals
|Total elimination round||16||16||.500||1 semifinal appearances|
|Total playoffs||4||7||.364||0 Finals appearances|
|Total 2011–12||20||23||.465||0 championships|
|Total franchise||33||43||.434||0 championships|
**team had the twice-to-beat advantage
Players of note
Other notable players
- Earl Barron (2012)
- Brian Butch (2014)
- Anthony Danridge (2011)
- Eric Dawson (2013)
- Jarrid Famous (2012)
- Chamberlain Oguchi (2011, 2011, 2012)
- Tim Pickett (2011)
- Mario West (2012, 2013)
- Darnell Jackson (2014)
- Meralco-Ginebra game to open PBA’s 36th season, GMANews.TV, August 24, 2010.
- Consumers won't pay for Bolts, Sporting Chance by Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star, August 26, 2010.
- Meralco eyes cage return via PBA next season, Rey Joble, GMANews.TV, June 24, 2010
- Barako to compete anew; SLR bids goodbye Rey Joble, GMANews.TV, July 13, 2010
-  Rey Joble, InterAKTV, September 22, 2012