Meralco punched the last ticket to the semifinals by eliminating NLEX, 97-86, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Friday.
Chris Newsome led the Bolts with 23 points, nine rebounds, and 6 assists, while Anjo Caram had 16 markers, 6 assists, and 2 boards.
"We played to compete, we played to get as far as we can," said Newsome. "We've been to the semis last year, didn't go where we wanted to go so here we are trying to redeem ourselves."
They will next battle Magnolia in a best-of-7 semifinal series.
Cliff Hodge also tallied 16 points for the second-seeded Bolts, who dropped their quarterfinals opener against the Road Warriors.
Reynel Hugnatan added 11 points for their win.
"Whenever we play against Yeng Guaio's teams it's always a tough game, a physical game. There's going to be a lot of intensity like we saw tonight," said Meralco coach Norman Black.
"But our defense is very very solid... Of course Chris had a good game for us, he's always our leader."