07 May 2015

The Bolts Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

Andre Emmet
Stanley Pringle’s injury forced the GlobalPort Batang Pier to rely heavily on Terrence Romeo and Asian import Omar Krayem, and they still blew the Meralco Bolts off the floor.

The final score, 92-73 that gave the Bolts their first loss in the season ending PBA Governors’ Cup last 5 My 2015. This was made worse by their woeful shooting percentage from the floor, 22/78 or 28 percent.

It would be dishonest to describe this game as anything else but straining on the eyes. It was bad from both teams, but especially the Bolts, who were actually healthy. The general consensus was that the Bolts would easily win this with Pringle sitting. Sure, there's the cliche that no game in the is easy, but the Batang Pier were without their second best player and had a rusty engine due to long lay-off.

All Meralco had to do was sustain their top four finish last conference. It didn't come close.

American import Andre Emmet scattered 41 points, but scored just two points – both from the foul line – in the last eight minutes and 47 seconds after firing 39 markers before that. More importantly, he is taking away precious minutes from the Bolts’ number one gunner Gary David.

As a result, the volume-shooting David was limited to just eight attempts, making two, as he never found his rhythm to end up with just five points along with five boards and one assist in 26 minutes.

But the 11-year veteran believes he can complement Emmett, who scattered 41 points on 21 shots in 46 minutes.

“Kailangan ko mag-adjust,” David told Spin.ph after the game. “Team basketball ‘yan. Hindi ko gagawing excuse dahil ganun laro ko.”

And it must be said again: the Clippers were using some terrible players. Keith Jensen, the proverbial white flag, played major minutes in the fourth quarter. Someone named Paolo Taha checked in and shackled Emmet. Billy Mamaril also played longer than he should have been on the court.

The problem is that the Bolts couldn't deal with the Batang Pier – that wasn't a running joke. Krayem dominated, straining and grunting his way to 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists while taking over the playmaking chores from the injured Pringle.

With Pringle out, the Batang Pier ran everything through the, a much better choice considering the next option called for Jewel Ponferada to dictate the play.

On the other side, Cliff Hodge, who should have feasted on his less athletic opponents, completely checked out. He was supposed to be the second local scorer that the Bolts can rely on, but can only manage four points on a 2/9 shooting or 22.0 percent. He also regressed to his "stand still and leave his man wide open" defense several times.

There was also John Wilson – who plays basketball like Manny Pacquiao sings, as if time is always running out and he has to do something incredibly ill-advised to beat an imaginary buzzer – scoring 5 points on a 2/7 shooting or 29 percent. There was Rey Guevarra, who was allowed to play decently when he wasn't tentative with his shots

This was a game between a team that knew it had to make a point without Pringle and a Bolts ensemble that thought it was going to stroll to a win. Meralco lost this one because of their laziness, and they have yet to meet the powerhouse teams.

One would think the Bolts are thinking about the future. The team may be tanking to further boost their standing in the coming draft where they have two first round picks, one of which was courtesy of Batang Pier. The problem is that they may have already blown their opportunity by allowing Batang Pier to win.

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