Meneses looking for more from ‘missing link’ Poutouochi
Jose Rizal University may have advanced to the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinals, but for coach Vergel Meneses, there’s still a lot left to be desired with the way his team is playing.
Scoring an 86-77 comeback win over Wangs Basketball on Tuesday, the Heavy Bombers propelled themselves to the quarterfinals to complete the six teams which are still in the running for the title.
But that didn’t stop the PBA legend from pointing out who disappointed him in this campaign.
“I’m always frank with everyone, and I think the missing link for us is Abdel (Poutouochi),” Meneses said. “The other big men can easily defend him and he keeps on shooting fadeaway jumpers. We can’t afford to do that if we want to compete with the stronger teams here in the D-League.”
Poutouochi has averaged 8.3 points, 9.7 rebounds through seven games this conference, and his six-point, nine-rebound effort in JRU’s recent victory isn’t helping his cause one bit with Meneses looking for more effort from him.
“We’re here to gain experience, and we’ve always told the players to keep fighting. But with the way things are going, Abdel really needs to show what he can do,” the mentor said.
The Heavy Bombers are ranked dead last in rebounding this conference with 41.48 boards per game, while also ranking 10th in offense with 65.14 points per contest.
Poutouochi’s effort is badly needed if JRU aspires of moving forward in the playoffs, especially with player Paolo Pontejos out for at least two weeks with an ankle sprain.
Meneses seemingly gave his big man an ultimatum ahead of its final elimination game against Tanduay next Tuesday.
“Every team at this stage are strong teams. We really have to perform. You can say that this game against Tanduay is his last chance because if he don’t, we might be in trouble,” he said.
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