03 June 2014

Winning While Losing

Mike Cortez
We have to admit it, the Meralco Bolts win when they lose. The paramount goal this third conference is for individual players to progress under a new management, and the Bolts is accomplishing that no matter what happens. But winning too many games lessens their chances of replacing their antiquated one-on-one plays, which could extend their rebuild for years.

At this point, the Bolts will not get any franchise players from the draft, but they could make progress towards that end by finishing last in the Governor’s Cup. There are also no signs that the management will replace coach Ryan Gregorio, which could change if the team continue to lose. Those are twin victories for the Bolts fans – the only type of "win" that matters this year.

In grade school, we were taught by teachers in sports that winning is not always the most important thing. Also, losing right now could present more opportunities for the team in the next round or season.

The evolution towards developing a winning culture should have nothing to do with the numbers in the win-loss column. It is always about progression, and it’s clear that the team erred when they engaged in some questionable deals that transferred erstwhile scorer Macmac Cardona for the erratic veteran Gary David. How about the deal that landed the injured and most probably retiring Kerby Raymundo for the healthy Jay-R Reyes.

The current one win and four loses game card should be a wake-up call that progression should be the main agenda. The team should be fostering fostering a winning culture despite all of the losses. Having four straight losses could have made the team crumble or go for themselves.

However, despite no sound offensive patterns and admirable defensive game plan, players like Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan and Mike Cortez are still fighting, playing hard and being very unselfish. That is a sign of great guys in the locker room, but also a sign that the team is like a headless chicken who relies mainly on instincts more than anything else.

The Bolts are currently one and four, but the players still retains that positive perspective. They know that they want to win, but they also know that this is a process and progress can only be made when coaching changes happen as well.

Hodge and Jared Dillinger are blossoming, and other young players are getting better too. Hugnatan seems to be finding his role as a scorer, and Rey Guevarra has come out of nowhere. Cortez mid-range game is coming along, and James Sena has shown the tools of a quality stretch center.

All of these advancements have nothing to do with the coach Gregorio. These improvements will occur no matter what play the coach will design or not design at all.


  1. i agree that with our present line up, were only good as a middle team, quarterfinal should be no problem but semis? its a miracle if we win one and get into finals. but still, losing leaves a bad taste, but we must take it like were taking a medicine to cure our sickness. we must look forward to the next draft, but even still, i wonder why & how the SMC teams can still manage to improved their current line up which is already strong and among the top 4 if not top 3 teams in the pba. heard the news today, sanmig got ronnie matias & yousif taha in exchange for the seldom used players val acuna & the ageing & slow yancy de ocampo. observe how they always manage to get yousif taha (petron, ginebra & now sanmig) THEN AT THE END USE HIM AS A TRADE BAIT TO GET BETTER DEALS. i wonder how the management of mr MVP cant do exactly how the management of mr. ramon ang are doing for their teams to strenghten their already potent line-up so as to strengthen ours? it seems that he's only focussed on TNT and forgetting meralco bolts

  2. Jonski, I ccould agree with you more. The lopsided deals entered by SMC teams are leaving a bad taste in the mouth. They even have farm teams to thank for that. I wouldn't be surprise if some of the players from San Miguel Beer and Ginebra will be downloaded to San Mig Coffee to improve its quest for a grand slam. It also obvious that the two other teams are positioning themselves in the standings in such a way to allow weaker teams to meet San Mic Coffee in the playoffs.

    As for MVP teams, I agree with you that the focus is always on their flagship team, Talk N' Text. If enough attention was given to Meralco, we would have seen changes in the coaching staff a long time ago.