Postponement seen as a blessing for struggling Bolts
Coach Norman Black and the Meralco Bolts gained some sort of a reprieve after the PBA postponed Saturday’s doubleheader at Ynares Center in Antipolo due to tropical storm “Paeng”.
“We are still looking for a replacement,” Black said when asked of the import situation that has greatly contributed to the Bolts’ struggles in the Commissioner’s Cup.
That “replacement” will be the third import, in effect, for the Bolts, whose second guy after the much-ballyhooed Johnny O’Bryant, was found to have measured an inch over the 6-foot-10 height limit.
The Bolts were supposed to face the streaking San Miguel Beermen, but inclement weather caused by the storm prompted the league to call off the scheduled match and the nightcap pitting the Magnolia Hotshots and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Meralco would have still played with Johnny O’Bryant against the Beermen after his replacement, Jessie Govan, who has stints with the Georgetown program in the US NCAA and the NBA G-League Ignite, failed to make the grade as confirmed by Black.
“If the game [against San Miguel] had taken place, Johnny would have played,” said Black. “Hopefully, we will have a (new) name within 24 hours.”
Tough next foe
Saturday’s postponement, which the league decided to do after Metro Manila, Rizal and nearby areas were placed under signal No. 3, has allowed Meralco more time to sort things out.
Meralco won’t play until Nov. 4 and the extended time will give Black more chances of making O’Bryant successor know the team better.
Whoever that man turns out to be will be up for an acid test right away as the Bolts clash with guest team Bay Area, which is currently on top of the standings with a 6-1 record and has a habit of blowing foes away.
Another loss will put Meralco in desperation mode as the Bolts would need a late surge to at least sneak in the lower part of the eight-team playoffs.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s twinbill at Ynares, the last for the month of October, will push through provided the weather condition improves.
Converge, coming off a dominant upset of TNT, plays Blackwater at 4:30 p.m. with a chance for coach Aldin Ayo and his up-tempo offense to stretch its streak to three consecutive victories.
TNT seeks to rebound from a defeat coach Chot Reyes described as being “ass kicked” at 6:45 p.m. against another team on a roll in Phoenix, which is in a four-game roll after a 0-3 start.
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