13 November 2015

Are The Bolts Tanking or Not?

Cliff Hodge
Tanking isn't a preferred pastime for any PBA player, but a few front offices have been known to dabble in the unsightly deed. Meralco Bolts coach Norman Black and his staff sure seemed willing to play their part.

Franchise cornerstones were shipped out for flotsam—or even less. In several separate transactions, the Bolts appeared to be loading their team with a more improved line-up than the previous year, but in their first three games of the season, something big is still missing.

The Bolts must endure the trials and tribulations of retooling their talent pool so they can position themselves for a loaded 2016 draft, where they still have their first and second rounds pick plus Mahindra Enforcer's second round pick.

Angling for pingpong balls is a tricky business. It requires the delicate balance of putting a basketball team on the court that plays hard but has little chance of winning. It also puts you at the mercy of Lady Luck.

What if the players had other ideas. What could be a early season demolition could instead lay the groundwork for the most surprising rise in the middle and last conferences.

The Bolts never really have a consistent scorer and rebounder that they had when Gary David and Cliff Hodge were still playing inspired basketball.
Boston no longer knows where its production will come from—and somehow, that's become a bad thing.

Nobody wants to take charge. Nobody wants to direct the plays. Nobody is telling anybody that they should go back to defend.

During the team's three-game losing streak, three different players have led it in scoring. Their end-game execution are erratic with several botched plays when they needed to score badly. In their loss to Blackwater Elites, the Bolts have four possessions in the last 3 minutes that could have given them a win, but they failed to convert a single basket.

If Meralco truly wants to be bad, then everyone should take their time. The worst thing that could happen to the Bolts is to be bad enough to be irrelevant.

And yet, as history has shown, even if you lose all the time, there are no guarantees that you will get a quality top pick in the draft.

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