13 February 2015

Meralco Bolts Is Being Patiently Aggressive

Patiently Aggressive
There were several analyses recently trying to find out how the Meralco Bolts achieved what it failed to do last season: open up the Commissioner’s Cup with a pristine 4 wins and 0 losses.

However, the most obvious answer is that the team were in a much cleaner place right now than they were during the 2013-2015 season with regards to the assets that they have under our control. They don’t rely on solitary plays to get their points unless they have no other option left on the floor.

Newly-installed coach Norman Black was able to install a team-oriented system that was clearly lacking during the time of Ryan Gregorio and the players couldn’t be happier with that. In short, they have defined each player’s role to significantly improve their chances for a shot at the title.

While coach Black stopped short of promising "fireworks" this Conference, everyone can tell that the players are itching to prove their worth by diving for loose balls, challenging each and every shot and jockey for a better position whenever the opponents tries to shoot the ball. But the fans should try to be patients with the whole process and temper their expectation.

The teams may have a good mix of young athletic players and able-bodied veterans with high intelligence, but they need to get a steady and promising player to hold their center position.

There's no clear path forward in securing a giant center because there are just too many variables outside the team's control. Where will they get that player? Which free agents will be available? What impact players will be put on the trade block (now or in the off-season)?

Still, the team has the flexibility to react to whatever their opponents can come up with. For example, everyone assumes that the Bolts can do little to minimize the scoring and dominance other team’s center. That's probably true, but if they see how easily Reynel Hugnatan, Josh Davis, Clifford Hodge and John Ferriols rotate against their respective defensive assignments, they should not rule out the Bolts yet.

Everyone knew that the Bolts need more big man talent on the roster, there’s no question about that or denial. What everyone is not aware of is that the team is silently pursuing some players, but that’s another story.

Fundamentally there's nothing new or Earth shattering here, but it is encouraging to hear that the team (from the owners on down) has the right attitude and commitment to the process. It doesn't guarantee success, but they seem to be on the right track.

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