Consecutive losses put concern on Meralco’s playoff push
Meralco head coach Norman Black said their back-to-back losses in the latter stages of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination stages are a cause for concern especially since the Bolts have been pushed off the top tier in the standings.
The Bolts lost 94-86 against Globalport on May 10 and they lost once more to Star, 108-90, Wednesday which saw their record slip to 7-3 with a game to go in their schedule.
“I am concerned about the performance in general, the fact that we played poorly and the fact that my import is non-existent tonight, that really concerns me moving forward,” said Black after the match at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Alexander Stepheson has been an indomitable inside presence for the Bolts as he averaged 18.88 points, 24 rebounds, and 15 shot attempts per game.
Star, however, managed to limit the 6-foot-10 bruiser to just nine points, on 4-of-7 shooting, and nine rebounds.
Compounding Black’s problems is Stepheson’s lingering hydration problem with the import suffering from diarrhea for several days heading into their matchup against the Hotshots.
“He’s been really sick for the last couple of days, he’s been pretty weak, and he’s really been out physically,” said Black of Stepheson. “But I never expected him to play like the way he played today. For about four or five minutes he looked tired already.”
“He’s a big part of what we do offensively and defensively, so if he’s going to have that type of performance [going forward], we’re going to have a hard time.”