16 February 2012

Judging the Bolts this Conference

Meralco Bolts 2nd Conference
Do you think there’s a big change for the Meralco Bolts with import Jelani McCoy or Jarrid Famous in their line-up this coming second conference? Judgment comes in the playoffs if ever they reach that stage. Partial judgment will also be rendered whenever they meet their sister team, Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. Their 1-1 record will not mean anything until they give it all against their sister team and prove to their fans that they really mean business.

The Bolts disappointing performance since debuting in the league two years ago will never change until their arms are raised on the platform, and the team do not allow their sister team to get a win at their expense. Judgment comes on 17 February when they meet Talk 'N Text, not when they lost a close game against BMeg Llamados nor on their lopsided win against Petron Blaze Boosters, but these fourth-quarter failures hang over Bolts every time they take on their sister team. Sometimes, the Bolts coaching staff tries to do too little. Sometimes, they try to do too much. Almost always, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy that they should lose to the Tropang Texters.

The mocking, the taunts, came cascading down from bloggers who followed the monopolistic attitude in the league, and this unrelenting saga turns the Bolts seeming accommodation of the Tropang Texters into a punch line.

Looking back at the end game lapses of the Bolts against the Tropang Texters it always a case of the ball in the wrong hand, ball hurriedly shots in the air, ball bouncing around the rim and out. The ball is always hitting short or pounding the backboard and iron, and careened away on the pivotal quarter. Those late-game demons had come to dance between Macmac Cardona’s headband and Sol Mercado’s mind – racing too fast, too scattered.

When it mattered most, Coach Ryan Gregorio's game plan failed against the Tropang Texters, and that turned out to be the sweetest symphony for his critics. That’s his burden until he wins a game against their sister team, because there’s only vindication against the suspicion of accommodation in the ultimate victory.

Coach Gregorio, somehow, let his patented one-on-one plays around Cardona and Mercado bait him into thinking that no adjustments will be made by the Phone Pals on the defensive end. Somehow, Coach Gregorio thinks that Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger are not capable of clamping on his stars. He is giving ammunition to his critics on 17 February to revisit his failures. He is not yet back on the brink because the management loves him, but he’s back on notice as far as Bolts fans are concerned.

It was simple, and it was maddening. It was the Bolts credibility on the line, along with their thoughts, along with the most unmistakable basketball burden. The taunts, the ridicule, will always come crashing down on the Bolt's one-on-one plays, but make no mistake: judgment comes on 17 February, not 10 February.

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