30 August 2015

Glaring Problem the Bolts Wanted to Address

Jimmy Alapag
It is hard to imagine how things could change drastically overnight for the Bolts. Gone are the undersized veteran John Ferriols, under-performing Ryan Buenafe and defensive liability James Sena. Expected to take their place in the rotation are the come-backing center Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Justin Chua.

There is no word yet, but there might be a good chance that the services of veteran and former MVP Danny Ildefonso will be utilize to assist the frontcourt now that he was dropped by the Bolts from its roster.

However, looking at their games in the previous season, there is one glaring problem that the Bolts need to address fast: ball-handling duties.

In their last season matches with the Alaska Aces, the Bolts were manhandled convincingly by an average of 29.5 points. The main weakness exploited by the Aces is the inability of their back court counterparts to handle the ball properly.

For head coach Norman Black, Alaska’s pressure defense took its toll on the Bolts’ guards. "Our guards are now known more as scorers not ball handlers," Black told media after one of those lopsided games.

"We had a hard time with the pressure again. We couldn’t get the ball to the court. My team is not really made to handle pressure. We just didn’t do a good job breaking their pressure."

This is the main reason why Black selected Baser Amer as their No. 7 pick in the just concluded PBA Rookie Draft. The Filipino Muslim almost normed a triple-double (16.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 11.7 assists) - something almost unheard of in NCAA hoops - in his senior year.

The team was also able to convince Jimmy Alapag to come out of retirement and agree to be traded to the Bolts. The veteran guard who spent all of his 12 seasons with the Talk N’ Text will be a tremendous upgrade compared to Mike Cortez in terms of ball-handling.

The Bolts also selected the unheralded Joseph Sedurifa as their 31st pick in case their primary point guard does not pan out. However, it is still a big question on whether the former MVP in the Naascu in 2013 while playing for Centro Escolar University will be able to crack the 16-man roster of the Bolts.

Whenever the Bolts fail to break the press, they found it hard to locate their shooters. Hence, Gary David struggled to get his average every time they are match up against the Aces.

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