02 March 2014

If Defense Wins Championship, Bolts Are In Trouble

Bolt's Defense
Has there been a team that's been more brutally unlucky than the Meralco Bolts of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) over the past 4 years? What should’ve been a competitive team based around the core of 2008 All-Filipino Champion Sta. Lucia Realtors evaporated into thin air.

Forward-center Kelly Williams, defensive backcourt duo of Denok Miranda and Ryan Reyes and prolific bench production from Joseph Yeo were transformed into ragtag gang of young, talented, but directionless crew.

While Reynel Hugnatan was a worthy and consistent pick from a trade with Alaska Aces, it was the arrival of Mamac Cardona, followed by Sol Mercado and now Gary David that makes one wonder if this is a study on how many basketball stars can satisfy Coach Ryan Gregorio’s whim before they are abandoned on the wayside. The three players are all ball-dominant scorers, but they failed to infuse the Bolts with enough energy to push the team past the semi-finals round in the last four years.

The all-Filipino starting five of Mike Cortez, David, Hugnatan, Jared Dillinger and Cliff Hodge do not belong to the best offensive team list in the league and provided some really unexciting defense as well. Compare them to their predecessors (Sta. Lucia Realtors) composed of Williams, Reyes, Miranda, Dennis Espino and Nelbert Omolon and it becomes crystal clear what team version is good enough to bury any opponent with a stifling defensive blanket.

Consider those that usually come off the bench, John Wilson and Rabeh Al-Hussaini for theBolts and Yeo and Marlou Aquino for the Realtors, and it is obvious what version is capable of slowing down the game and keep up with high defensive intensity that usually marks the start of a run to the finals round.

If "defense wins championships" is even half-fact, the Bolts are going to have a hard time contending.

No comments:

Post a Comment