Meralco's weak defense spoils David's 40-point game
MANILA, Philippines – Gary David, who dropped 40 of the Meralco Bolts' 106 points against Barako Bull Energy on Sunday afternoon, lamented the team's poor defense which kept the team winless through 4 games.
True enough, though the Bolts flourished offensively and even registered 26 assists, they allowed the Barako Bull 108 points and the elusive victory on Sunday, November 15 in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup.
“It’s really our defense. We need to double time on defense,” the veteran guard rued in Filipino after the tough loss. “All of our opponents seem to have more confidence to keep shooting over us because they know our defense is weak.”
“We just have to make sure we’re focused on that. But our confidence on offense is there, though it’s just not enough,” added the 37-year old former Gilas Pilipinas sharp-shooter, who shot 7-of-9 from long range Sunday.
After the 108-106 loss to Barako Bull, Meralco remains the only winless team in the conference so far.
Coming into Sunday, the Bolts are the worst team in the league in field goal percentage allowed, according to PBA Head Statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
They are second worst in points allowed – above only Mahindra – giving up 99.3 points for their first 3 games. And including Sunday’s loss, Meralco has allowed over a hundred points in 3 of their 4 games. The Bolts are similarly worst in assists allowed and second worst in 3-point percentage allowed to their foes.
Meralco is among the worst defensive teams this conference despite having head coach Norman Black, whose reputation as coach is built on a “defense wins championships” mentality.
“Defense. It shows in the stats,” the multi-titled coach admitted what he felt was wrong with his team. "We're giving up too many points, teams are shooting such a high percentage against us, our interior defense, our perimeter defense, it's just lacking right now.”
Turning the ball over 19 times did not help Meralco’s cause either.
“Offensively, we did a good job of moving the basketball tonight. Everybody was trying to set up the hot man which was Gary David. But even if we can score, if we can't defend, it doesn't mean much,” lamented Black.
“Right up to the very end, we couldn't defend their post and their outside shots. Just got to keep working and do a better job.”
From David’s perspective, team chemistry plays a big factor in their weak defense.
“It still has to do with our chemistry because we don’t talk as much,” he explained. “The effort is there but in terms of communication, it’s not enough.”
Meralco has 7 games to figure things out. They will next face a likewise struggling Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday, November 17 in Biñan, Laguna.
While there is definitely a sense of urgency that played into his 40-point performance, David is confident his team can adjust in time. Though he certainly would have loved to have performed better on Sunday.
“Kulang pa, siguro kailangan pa ng 43 points para manalo (It’s not enough, I probably need 43 points for us to win),” he concluded with a chuckle. – Rappler.com