03 November 2011

A Nightmare to Remember

Bolts Nightmarish Game
There wasn't much Ryan Gregorio could say to justify the play of Meralco Bolts last Sunday, 30 October 2011.

The Bolts was stymied by the 66.3 percent shooting by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 22 of which were thrown from beyond the arc.

It wasn't just the high shooting percentage given to the Painters, it was also the 46-38 rebounding advantage along with the lack of focus. It was a disappointing night for the Bolts after registering their first back-to-back victories before that game. It was not something to be proud of.

It was a night when records were made to be broken. Rain or Shine set a new league record for most three-point shots converted in a game, their biggest margin of victory, their highest output and best field-goal percentage in franchise history on its way to a 139-95 triumph in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Sure, Macmac Cardona scored 23 points while Sol Mercado added 12 points, but they combined for only nine assists, the same dish-outs by Gabe Norwood. Overall, the Painters shared the ball fluidly en route to 34 assists compared to 21 by the Bolts.

It doesn't take an expert to notice that with Macmac and Sol back in their line-up, the Bolts tend to go back to their lazy ways of not covering one another on defense. They are not helping and recovering and then helping again another guy recover. There was just not enough energy from their bench to help create mayhem that could lead to a deflection or a steal.

There is also no real leader in the court. Neither Cardona nor Mercado made the right decisions and calls the plays. The explosive tandem was expected to handle the pressure and creates for the whole team. They are pretty much a big part of who the Bolts are.

However, on that fateful night, both don't really have spectacular game. That made it hard for the Bolts to win.

Only Gabby Espinas showed a lot of promises and consistency for the Bolts, churning in 12 points and 12 rebounds in a losing cause.

Halfway through the elimination round, the Bolts need not get too complacent or pat themselves on the back yet. They should strive to get better each and every day by developing a more fluid offense not based on individual and isolation plays.

Right now, the team know they have a shot. They are young and very physical and athletic. Problem is they need to do better with their brain.

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