26 March 2016

Where Will The Bolts Get Gary David's Numbers?

Arinze Onuaku
Gary David is considered as one of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) iconic shooter. In his 12 seasons in the league, the 37-year old from Bataan averaged 16.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

However, the two-time scoring champion had been recently dropped by the Meralco Bolts to the unrestricted free-agent list following his alleged refusal to play in the Bolts losing battle against NLEX Road Warriors last 11 March.

Most probably, the next question going through the minds of Meralco's followers is, where will the Bolts get those numbers?

There are two reasons why these few and scattered followers should not be alarmed. Firstly, the veteran gunner has normed just 6.6 points in seven games in the ongoing 2016 Commissioner's Cup, reaching double digits only twice.

These production can be sourced elsewhere and is actually available if the Bolts know where to look. In Meralco's roster there is a player capable of delivering big and this is 9-year veteran Ronjay Buenafe.

The almost 33-year old player from Emilio Aguinaldo College used to average in double figures prior to his present stint with the Bolts. Buenafe is no stranger to the Meralco system after playing with the team during the 2012-2013 season under former coach Ryan Gregorio.

However, due to limited playing time this conference (7.0 minutes in two games), Buenafe's point production dipped to an all-time low of 3.0 average. One good thing going for Buenafe is that he has yet to miss a three-point attempt this season, 2-out-of-2 so far. His career average is 32.4 percent from long-range.

Another reason why the Bolts should not be worried about the eventual departure of David is the team's emphasis on defense. With the likes of Arinze Onuaku, Anjo Caram, Cliff Hodge, Chris Newsome, Bryan Faundo and Kelly Nabong, Meralco is the top defensive team and capable of holding their opponents to only 90.1 points.

"To be honest, we're doing well this conference because of our defense," coach Norman Black said after practice on Holy Wednesday. "Our offense has been spotty at best."

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