22 June 2014

Former Bolts Guards Moved Ball Better

What Could Have Been
Do you know that at one point in the short history of the Meralco Bolts, the back court combination was more fluid and shared the ball better?

That seems like ages ago, but during the 2012-2013 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) campaign, the back court rotation of Macmac Cardona, Sol Mercado, Ronjay Buenafe and Chris Ross fared better than the current line-up composed of Gary David, Jared Dillinger, Mike Cortez and John Wilson.

In its four seasons with the league and under coach Ryan Gregorio, the Bolts has placed no higher than third. This rare achievement came during the 2012-2013 Governor’s Cup with old hand Mario West as an import.

After the season ended, the four explosive guards churned out an impressive average of 42.96 points, 13.81 rebounds and 16.11 assists per game! It was mind-boggling how the management and the coaching staff can see anything wrong with these numbers, but it appears that they did and decided that all four should be dealt with in the guise of "team rebuilding" scenario.

All four players were replaced and the team have slipped back to mediocrity this season, missing the playoffs twice. They placed ninth in the Philippine Cup with a 5-10 win-loss record, seventh in the Commissioner’s Cup (6-6), before ending the Governors Cup with a pathetic 3-6 card.

The four back court players of David, Dillinger, Cortez and Wilson still provided the needed firepower by averaging 46.87 points and 16.31 rebounds, but were only good for 11.21 assists per game. What does this tell us? It plainly says that the guards are not distributing the ball often enough and are not finding the forwards on their sweet spots.

Now, this makes me wonder what the heck are they thinking up at the Meralco office? Can you imagine the havoc that they could have done if they just retain the services Cardona, Mercado, Buenafe and Ross? I guess the Bolts are teaching us how not to run a basketball franchise to the ground.

Can you also have imagined if the Bolts could have at least tried to sign Asi Taulava to a three-year deal rather than release him for almost nothing? Or not having acquiring the injured and retirable Kerby Raymundo for Jay-R Reyes?

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