01 May 2014

When Will The Bolts Graduate?

Ryan Gregorio
Another wasted conference. Another missed opportunity. Another set of excuses. Another chance is given.

How many times should the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) – owned Meralco Bolts lose a good chance to advance to the Final Four each season before they come to a BIG realization that Coach Ryan Gregorio is not the right strategist for the team.

The last quarterfinal loss of the Bolts marked the third straight time they blew a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup playoffs, having lost to B-Meg and San Mig Coffee the two previous seasons. Again, that’s third time in a row.

And just like the previous losses, coach Gregorio found several excuses to justify their premature exit.

In a press briefing, coach Gregorio said that the team had holes in their line-up after veteran playmaker Mike Cortez was sidelined by an injury. Downed by a meniscus tear on his right knee, Cortez failed to play for the entire mid-season tournament where they were obviously outplayed in all departments by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 97-96, in their do-or-die overtime match last 26 April 2014.

"We really lacked a stable guard and that was supposed to be Mike Cortez," said Gregorio of the player known as 'Cool Cat.' "So next conference, I’m hoping Mike can play because I traded for him because he's stable, knows how to win, been there and done that."

Not satisfied with the "Cortez Excuse," Gregorio said it is but part of the Bolts’ continuing "basketball education" in the franchise's as it search for a first ever PBA title. This means that after four years of being in the league and given enough talent to carry the team forward, the loss is still considered a continuing "basketball education." When does he expect the Bolts to graduate then – 2025?

The Bolts went up 1-0 against Rain or Shine in their quarterfinals series, but allowed the Elasto Painters to bounce back which is inexcusable. Another thing that seems illogical at that time is to put the blame on Jared Dillinger’s bad back in Game Three.

"For some reasons, something always happens. It was just unfortunate that JD (Jared Dillinger) wasn’t healthy," said Gregorio. "But we can't look back. We just have to move forward."

For those who witness Game Three of the series, Dillinger’s back was a non-factor and would have not affected the results in a big way. The hot hands of Gary David and Sunday Salvacion made sure of it and that is why the game reached the overtime period. It was the player's motivation to win or finish respectably that carried the whole team that, historically, do not have an effective end-game plays.


  1. Oust gregorio.. give chance to magsanoc or another to uichico.. or let nlex, kia, blackwater became champs before the bolts..

  2. Maybe Coach Uichico or even Boyet Fernandez would have been able to give us a much better performance. Their system is much more reliable than the pep talk given by Gregorio.