10 February 2016

Bolts Hoped Arinze Onuaku is a Blessing

Arinze Onuaku
Early on, it appeared their decision backfired.

After a dismal performance in the recent 2015-2016 PBA Philippine Cup won by the San Miguel Beermen, Meralco Bolts are raring to prove their mettle and gain some respect. They were given an early vacation and an early start to scout and hire the most appropriate and explosive import they could find.

There were initial reports that the Bolts are trying to sign NBA star Carlos Boozer of the Los Angeles Lakers, but this rumor was immediately dispelled.

The team also wanted to sign rebounding phenom Alex Stepheson after they were impressed by his 20 or more rebounds in 16 games as a senior. However, the 27-year old defensive forward declined to pursue his NBA dreams.

Next option was 6-foot-9 big man who averaged in double-double in points and rebounds in his stint at the NBA D-League, Malcolm Thomas. He arrived early to acclimatize with the team system and impressed a lot of players with his work ethics, but he got injured.

"Our first import, Malcolm Thomas, unfortunately is dealing with pain in his knee," disclosed Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo. "Before coming over here, he was recuperating from a finger injury. So for 3 weeks Malcolm wasn’t active on the court.

"During a recent practice game with GlobalPort, he felt some pain so we had it checked and unfortunately, it was found out that he has some loose cartilage in his knee. According to the doctors, he isn’t going to be 100 percent and his knee will continue to swell up until treated. So we have to replace him.”

"It’s a bit of bad news for us but hopefully, it will turn out to be a blessing," added point guard Jimmy Alapag.

That blessing could turn out to be the former Syracuse University recruit Arinze Onuaku.

"We initially wanted to bring Arinze over but had he a live contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel,” shared Trillo. "His contract has since expired and he will fly over the night before the game. We tried to get him sooner but there were some things to take care of before he packed his bags.

"As for adjustments, he will have to deal with jet lag. And he doesn’t even know what we’re doing on the court. If we're going to try and pull off a win in our conference opener against Star it will have to come from our locals. In terms of game plan, it will be a feeling out process."

"We will have to keep it simple," succinctly pointed out Alapag.

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