23 April 2014

Can His Quotes Save the Bolts?

Ryan Gregorio
No 'quotable quotes' from coach Ryan Gregorio can appease the growing fan base of Meralco Bolts if they fail to secure a slot in the semifinals for the third time in a row after winning all the first games of the best-of-three series that they have played before.

Way back in 2012, the Bolts secured the first game in the series B-Meg only to lose the two succeeding games. A year later, the bolts faced the same team with a new name, San Mig Coffee Mixers, and won the first game. Unfortunately, they gave away again their next two games to allow the Mixers to advance.

Fast-forward to the present day. The fifth-seeded Bolts have reached the playoff round and won the first game of their best of three series against the fourth-seeded Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 94-91. They still have the same coach as before. They are now on their fourth year in the league. Will the same thing happen again?

Not if coach Gregorio had his way.

"We’ve been in this situation before, but experience is always the best teacher, so hopefully now, with more intelligence and a little more experience on our end, (we have learned)," Gregorio said.

But what is glairing in their first game win against the Elastopainters is that coach Gregorio still rely on individual skill sets and not enough emphasis on team play. The last field goals scored by the Bolts were made under intense pressure on the individual player to score.

Fortunately for them, their import, Darnell Jackson, displayed some steady nerves. Even resident scorer Gary David had to find his own shots in the latter half of the fourth quarter.

It's the weakness of Gregorio’s style of play ever since he was pirated from the stable of his former team, Purefoods aka B-Meg aka San Mig Coffee. With Roger Yap, Peter Jun Simon and James Yap having license to shoot the ball as they see fit, coach Gregorio only need to concoct inspiring quips to motivate the team to win.

From the stands, no technical skills or scientific approach was made in obvious in mapping out the final play of a close game. If there was one, it was most probably not successful at all, which is what happened also in the last play of the Bolts last 21 April.

The viewers were treated to an unclear instruction that was made more complicated by several gestures of player movements on the white board. In the end, Jackson received the ball and block off any last minute howling from the coach and just let the ball fly. After that, everyone on the bench was ecstatic that they have forgotten about the botch play of coach Gregorio. Well, life goes on, for now.

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