19 March 2017

Stepheson Hopes To Do Well Offensively

Alex Stepheson
He looks slow, out-of-sync and may need to shed some pounds off, but it does not discount the fact that Alex Stepheson may be the antidote for Meralco Bolts' perennial need for a dominant big man.

After the his first game in the league, the 6-foot-10 center finished with just 10 points but he hauled down 21 rebounds, blocked three shots and changed many more attempts as Meralco opened its PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign with a 94-86 win over Mahindra last 17 March.

What made Stepheson stood out is that his hulking presence gave his team the confidence to shoot from the outside.

"He's big and strong, that's what we were looking for," Black said after Stepheson's debut. "We still need to give Alex time to get in shape, need to work on his conditioning, but in terms of him controlling the defensive boards, he really helps us in that area."

Last year, Stepheson was not available because he was signed to play in the NBA D-League. The Bolts took in Arinze Onuaku who gave them the top four finish.

This year, Onuaku was not available and Stepheson hope to fill that void in the middle with his hulking presence.

His offensive woes may haunt the team later in the series, but at this time, his team mates are more than ready to carry the load. Baset Amer and Chris Newsome scored 19 and 17 points, respectively, while Cliff Hodge made some big shots down the stretch.

"It helps that his teammates like him. He's a jolly player," Black continued. "They want him to stay, they're playing well for him and as long they can help him get to that, we're in good shape."

Stepheson couldn't be any happier with how the locals stepped up.

"We really played well as a team," Stepheson said. "Still we have some things we needed to work on. But Cliff stepped up big. Baser was really good at point guard. Newsome played well. Kelly (Nabong) played big in the four position. We still have a lot to clean on," he added.

But Stepheson vowed to get better once he becomes more comfortable with the style of play in the PBA.

"Down low I need to slow down a little bit and find my touch around the basket. Free throw line, improve that. Defensively is a little bit different but I'll adjust to that, we'll be okay."

One test could be on is second game with the Bolts as he is bound to go against Asi Taulava and the NLEX warriors on 19 March.

No comments:

Post a Comment