Meralco is a classic example of a team that thrives on hard work, hustle and energy.
It doesn’t have a legitimate center who can match up with big guys like June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter or Asi Taulava yet they are successful in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The formula: they’re not relying on any one, but everyone.
“Definitely, it’s our defense. We’re helping each other out. We get back on defense right away so teams cannot get fast break points,” said forward Cliff Hodge.
Sean Anthony, another hardworking forward like Hodge, said everyone on the squad has a role to play and contributes in any which way he can.
“We have a bunch of guys who can do anything and that has contributed to our success,” he added.
“Naglalaro kami para sa isa’t isa. Andun yung tiwala sa sistema and yung tiwala sa lahat ng miyembro ng team. Kaya maganda ipinapakita namin ngayon,” added star swingman Gary David.
Another factor for the team’s surge was the decision to pick Josh Davis, an NBA D-League veteran, in place of Michael Dunigan. The Bolts, according to head coach Norman Black, were beaten to the draw by the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings for the services of the “balik-import” and it proved to be a blessing in disguise.
“We have a gem of an import in Josh Davis. Everybody on the team likes him,” said Black.
Davis has been doing the dirty work for the squad, grabbing rebounds, defending, and running up and down the court hustling. He doesn’t mind taking the backseat in scoring, while still making sure that he will get the job done for his team. A classic case was the Bolts win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters last week where Davis scored only eight points, but grabbed 17 rebounds and picked up three steals.
Against Rain or Shine on Tuesday, Davis stepped up big time, particularly in the fourth period at the height of a big Meralco rally. He scored 15 of his total 31 points in the fourth period as he led the team to a come-from-behind victory over the Elasto Painters.
Despite a big offensive game, Davis still deflected the credit to his teammates.
“My team set me well. I don’t think about taking over, I just play hard every possession. I just do whatever it takes to help my team win the game. Everyday [in] practice, everybody works hard, individually and as a team,” said Davis.
With all the ingredients for success already in place, Hodge is convinced the Bolts are definitely for real.
“Yeah, I believe so. I think it’s about time for us to get a little bit of respect, of course, we still have a lot to prove. Last conference was a stepping stone for us and we’re ready to go big this time,” he added.