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Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?

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With the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs just around the corner, the Hoop Nut tag team began to ponder whether the team of their alma mater’s former head coach is for real.

Rolly Mendoza 8:31am
Hey Sir Hoopnut! How are you? It’s been a while since we last shared our thoughts about the PBA. Isn’t it about time we talked about this conference?!

Anyway, the elimination round for the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup is about to end, and only the top 8 out of the 12 teams will have a chance to move on to the next round. Not surprisingly, Purefoods, Rain or Shine, and Talk ‘N Text are among 3 of the top 4 teams. Guess who else is near the top. The Meralco Bolts. Is this team for real?

Enzo Flojo 8:41pm
This is not the Meralco Bolts we know. They probably switched places with their sister team Talk ‘N Text or sucked all the Texters’ powers, ala Space Jam. Tiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?    No way the Bolts should be playing this well… right?!

Rolly Mendoza 9:09am
Oh, love that Space Jam reference, which kinda gives away our age! Haha! Anyway, the Bolts are playing well because their primary scorer, Gary David, is scoring in bunches again. El Granada is armed and ready to explode!

Enzo Flojo 9:12am
They just lost though, so there, haha.
Tiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?
Josh Davis galing din! Kawhi of the PBA would you agree? Also, Reynel Hugnatan is an All-Star!

Rolly Mendoza 9:17am
Well, Josh Davis resembles Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs, and I can see some similarities in their game. Davis appears to be a perfect fit for the Bolts, and his 20 and 15 averages do not hurt at all.Tiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?    As for Reynel Hugnatan, I’m not quite sure 7 points and 4 boards per game make an All-Star, but he has been effective and a positive influence when he plays. By the way, when it comes to sneakers , Hugnatan is definitely an All-Star!

Enzo Flojo 12:42pm
My sneaker MVP is a toss-up among Hugnatan, Ryan Araña, and Chris Ross.

Back on-topic, though, I think the one of the biggest differences has been Coach Norman Black. I think the Bolts look a bit more disciplined this conference, and they seem to be better defensively.

Davis, though, has made a huge impact. He is big enough to guard opposing centers, but is agile enough to play as a wingman. Just a matchup nightmare. These guys are making the most of what they have, which is more than what I can say for the likes of San Miguel or Ginebra. #CheapShot

Rolly Mendoza 1:22pm
Oh, an early shot versus the Kangkong Kings? Well, Josh Davis seems to be the perfect import for the Bolts. He does not need the ball a lot to be effective, and he is happy doing the dirty work.

I also think that Coach Norman has been able to utilize his players like Mike Cortez, Sean Anthony, Rey Hugnatan, and John Wilson. Now, can they sustain this run past the elimination round?

Enzo Flojo 1:37pm
Meralco sustaining a run past the elims? Of course not. Historically, they’ve never really been able to go very deep in the KO rounds of a conference. They’ve never won a title, never played in the Finals, and have only gotten as far as the semifinals (twice) since entering the league in 2010. They’re the PBA’s version of… the Memphis Grizzlies?

Rolly Mendoza 2:03pm
Well, there’s always a first time right?! They have a great coach, an above average import, an energized former All-Star, a Gilas player, and a new All-Star. To me, these pieces give the Bolts an excellent chance of doing well in the playoffs.

Regarding the Grizzlies reference, even the Grizz upset the Spurs a few seasons ago, and they reached the Western Finals, too. I’m sure the Bolts would be happy if they can have similar success like the Griz.

Enzo Flojo 2:52pmTiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?
First of all I wouldn’t say Josh Davis is above average. Pound for pound, I think he has been the MOST VALUABLE IMPORT so far! I mean, he is maybe the biggest reason, apart from Coach Norman, that these Bolts are doing so well! I think they have a strong chance in the next round, but they’ve yet to prove they have the mental toughness and consistency to be a legitimate threat.

Re: The Griz. Exactly. Memphis has always been great, just never great enough to be an actual champion. Same thing with Meralco, I think. Until proven otherwise, they will always be the kid in class who always nearly gets first honors, but always, somehow, falls short.

Rolly Mendoza 3:04pm
Hmmm the debate for best import or most valuble import will be done at another time… That being said, I think Josh Davis will get a lot of consideration for that award.

Since you think Meralco is not a legitimate contender, when will they get bounced? I think they have enough firepower to at least reach the finals especially with Alaska and San Miguel sputtering this conference.

Enzo Flojo 3:06pm
I think Meralco can be legit, but they have to prove it on the floor first. Till they get a title, I don’t think they will ever relinquish that mantle of mediocrity. Even without Alaska and/or SMB, teams like Purefoods, ROS, and TNT can all spoil Meralco’s playoff run.

BTW, if the conference ended today, Best Import would go to Davis hands down. No way it goes to someone else.

Rolly Mendoza 3:15pm
Whoa! I don’t know about Josh Davis winning Best Import hands down! You probably forgot about PJ Ramos, Al Thornton and Ivan Johnson. These guys are no slouches either.

As for the Bolts and their chances, I’m willing to bet on their excellent play a little longer. I think they will go as far as the Final Four… Maybe even the Finals.

Enzo Flojo 3:18pm
Final Four talaga dapat. Anything less would be another missed opportunity for Meralco. Yes, Davis gets my vote ahead of any of the other guys if the conference ended today. In reality, though, it’ll depend on who’s left standing when the Finals begin.

Rolly Mendoza 3:20pm
Since we talked about Best Import ever so slightly, I felt that a short mention of BPC was also needed… how about Gary David for BPC?

Enzo Flojo 3:24pmTiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?
Nope. Just… nope. Paul Lee > Gary David.

Rolly Mendoza 3:28pm
Jeez, are you hating on El Granada? HahaTiebreaker Times Hoop Nut One-on-One: Is Meralco For Real?
Okay fine, Paul Lee ain’t a bad choice but how about Terrence Romeo, Greg Slaughter and Jayson Castro??? Oh nevermind. This will just be another topic for next time.

Enzo Flojo 3:31pm
Not hating just reppin’. I can say that because I look like a black guy. And on that note…

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