The Meralco Bolts is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters at 4:30 P.M. on February 14, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts are currently at the 11th spot of the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup standings and their playoff chances are getting dimmer and dimmer while the Fuel Masters have a chance to join the other three teams in the second position.
Meralco had a two point advantage entering the last minute in the fourth quarter against the NLEX Road Warriors in their last outing. However, the Road Warriors prized rookie Kiefer Ravena erased that lead after he converted his three-pointer.
The Bolts had the chance to send the game into overtime after Chris Newsome sank his bonus free-throw from a foul from Ravena. Then at the last seconds, “the Phenom” was able to drill the basket as time expires. It was another sorry loss for coach Norman Black and to the rest of his Meralco Bolts squad.
“I always say this to you guys: When you lose a game you got two choices. You can sulk or go back to the drawing board and keep working. We’ll go back to the drawing board and keep working and try to continue to improve and be more competitive so we can win games.”
The two-time Best Import awardee and now turned into coaching career sees that the problem of his team is how they’re currently playing inside the paint.
“We can’t get outrebounded by 20 rebounds every game and expect to win. It’s not gonna happen,” Black pointed out.
“You can’t control the paint and limit your opportunity to win games. Right now that’s basically the reason why we’re struggling, we’re getting killed inside the paint almost every game. Until we can improve that we’re gonna have problems in trying to win games.”
Despite having a 2-6 win-loss record, coach Louie Alas finds their curtain-raiser opponent still a major threat as Meralco is capable of throwing surprises.
“I told my players that Meralco’s record is not a true reflection of their strength,” he said. “I mean, pag tiningnan lineup nila they’re pretty strong,” added Alas. “Saka talagang mahirap kalaban ang team na in dire need of a W,” Alas added.