The Meralco Bolts is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters at 4:15 P.M. on August 18, 2017 live from Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts are looking to bounce back after its loss against the Road Warriors last August 13 while the Fuel Masters will test its new acquisitions and hoping to end losing skid.
After its two-game winning streak in the initial stages of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, Phoenix struggled to find its winning form and now looking to its three-game losing streak.
Adding to coach Ariel Vanguardia’s concern, his cherry picked import Eugene Phelps will be out due to foot injury while Matthew Wright still on the way or probably won’t be playing today after his trip from Lebanon where he represented the country for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.
To address the situation, the Phoenix basketball franchise moved some of its assets to give the team an extra boost.
Few weeks ago they have traded Jeff Chan from Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in exchange for Mark Borboran and a future second round draft pick.
Also, earlier this week Fuel Masters also traded Cyrus Baguio and got Dylan Ababou in return. Phoenix will be also parading a new import while Phelps nursing his injury, his name is Brandon Brown.
“We consider this a fresh new start,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia. “Zero-zero mentality since we’ve got new players and will try new schemes.”
Meralco on the other hand will miss the services of Baser Amer who joins Gilas Pilipinas for 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. Also, Cliff Hodge still won’t be available to deliver rebounds and hustle plays due to injury.
Coach Norman Black will rely heavily to his reigning Best Import, Allen Durham who is again a potential post conference best foreign hire awardee.
“It will be a game where the entire team will have to pull together to overcome adversity,” said Black.
“Our bench will have to step up and Allen Durham will have to lead the group,” added Black. “We will just go out and give our best.”
Durham currently flaunts a 24.4 points, 18.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game while the injured Phelps got 27.6, 16 rebounds and three assists per outing.
Those numbers of Phelps will be the challenge of the new Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters import.
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