08 December 2015

Will The Bolts Play Their Cards Right?

Solomon Alabi
Languishing in the cellar at 1-8, the Bolts are now virtually fighting for survival in the current Philippine Cup. They may look better than their record suggests, but it may be prudent to say good-bye to the first conference and prepare for the next two.

There are lots of pluses in the next two years if the Bolts finished at the bottom of the standing this early because in the Commissioner's Cup, teams who finished in the bottom four of the Philippine Cup standings will be allowed to tap imports with unlimited height.

This could play well for the Bolts who can now tap somebody in the likes of former Kia Sorrento’s import PJ Ramos or Barako Bull’s Solomon Alabi as their reinforcement. Both of who had monster average last year and could for a pretty tall line-up with Cliff Hodge at power-forward, Jared Dillinger at shooting-forward, Gary David at shooting-guard and Chris Newsome at point.

Both Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Reynel Hugnatan should come off the bench because they really are not that good anymore to hold on their own against the dominant centers in the league at this time.

Whatever the standing of the Bolts in the second conference, there is still a good chance that they can still get the unlimited import advantage during the Governor’s Cup because the Philippine Cup final ranking comprises 60 points of the points, while the elimination round ranking in the Commissioner's Cup is 40 percent.

Although the temptation is great to bring back whoever they tap as their import in the second conference, the Bolts may want to take a closer look at their hardworking reinforcement last year, Josh Davis. The 6-9 forward was simply phenomenal, intimidating and inspiring as he almost carried the team to their first Finals until he got injured in the semis.

Iranian star guard Mahdi Kamrani has already expressed his interest in becoming the Asian reinforcements of the Bolts in the third conference of PBA Season 41. In a chance meeting with PBA board member Patrick Gregorio early this year, Khamrani told the MVP Group official he’s now ready to play in the PBA.

Tapping a second import from Asia during the Governor’s Cup was an innovation introduced last year.

Kamrani, among the best guards in the region, was a top prospect as Asian import last year. He was then coming off a 35-game stint with the Jiangsu Tongxi in the Chinese league where he averaged 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists.

However, because of his wife’s delicate pregnancy, he had to beg off from playing with the Bolts.

The third advantage of having a dismal record in the first conference is that it will allow the Bolts a chance to grab the top pick in next year’s draft.

The draft order is determined based from the overall performance of the teams from the previous season. The Philippine Cup final ranking comprises 40 percent of the points, while the rankings of the Commissioner's and Governors' Cups will comprise 30 percent each.

It is early to tell if the Bolts already had a firm hold on the top pick, but notwithstanding their possible comeback in the next two conferences, they probably already have an eye on either Kiefer Ravena or Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

No comments:

Post a Comment