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Meralco faces import dilemma as Su Braimoh injury prompts re-evaluation

Meralco is set to re-evaluate its import situation with Su Braimoh feared to miss a significant amount of time in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

The 34-year-old forward suffered an apparent left Achilles injury late in their 97-94 win over NLEX on Sunday, indeed another tough blow to a Bolts side that’s been dealing with injuries to key cogs since the early part of the conference.

“Now, we’ll have to re-evaluate,” said head coach Luigi Trillo during the postgame presser at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. “Maybe we’ll get back with our coaching staff, pagusapan muna namin kung anong pwedeng gawin.”

The veteran mentor said that one of the possibilities that the club could consider is fielding Zach Lofton to take the place of the Nigerian reinforcement.

Lofton, 31, is one of Meralco’s imports for the ongoing East Asia Super League (EASL) 2023-24 season, the other being Prince Ibeh.

Ibeh could’ve easily been the next choice given his PBA experience but the present conference only has a 6-foot-9 height limit. He’s listed at 6-foot-10.

“Prince, he cannot because he’s over-height. Pero si Zach, pwede naman,” said Trillo as Lofton, a combo guard, stands at 6-foot-4.

But the thing with Lofton, the champion mentor admitted, is that the Bolts may become too guard-heavy. Their backcourt rotation already has Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero, as well as Diego Dario and rookie Shean Jackson.

That’s why another option that Meralco is looking at is to bring in another big man to address its need for an inside presence similar to Braimoh, who had 38 points and eight rebounds versus the Road Warriors before the injury.

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“We might have to consider Zach, and then keep an open mind [that] we might have to look for another import with size,” Trillo said.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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