Norman Black acknowledges Gary David absence has 'huge impact' on Meralco
Meralco coach Norman Black breaks his silence on the Gary David issue. Jaime Campos

MERALCO coach Norman Black admitted the absence of Gary David has left a huge vacuum in the team’s offensive scheme of things.

But he insisted nobody is indispensable at Meralco, even a player in the caliber of ‘El Granada.’

‘Like I said before, I was a player and you must show respect for your coaches and the management. And if you don’t do that, there would be repercussions and penalties. And that’s exactly what’s happening now with Gary,” said Black, speaking for the first time since the organization meted a one-game suspension on the 37-year-old wingman.

David served his one-game suspension for insubordination on Friday night in the Bolts' 106-83 win over Blackwater.

Yet despite the way the Bolts manhandled the opposition, Black said David’s absence – whether it be temporary or for good – is a huge blow to the team’s campaign.

“It has a big impact because Gary is one of our best scorers, he’s a mainstay in our team,” acknowledged the multi-titled mentor. “So for him not to be in the team right now puts us in a great disadvantage, to be quite honest with you.”

Following his suspension, David was put on the unrestricted free agent list, which meant he has the freedom to go to any team that he wants.

[See Blackwater owner trying to strike a 'win-win' deal for Gary David]

Black admitted having a gut feel of a brewing storm coming the Bolts’ way when they won their first five outings in the mid-season conference.

“I remember telling the team when we’re winning that the big test will come in when he lose,” he recalled. “Because when you’re winning, everybody is happy. Nobody’s complaining about their playing time, whether you play 10 minutes of 40 minutes. When you win the game, everybody is solid.”

“But when you’re losing, comes a different story,” Black stressed. “Everything starts to come out, all the negativities come out.”

And unfortunately for David, the Meralco mentor said the he didn’t handle the situation very well.

“And that’s what we’re dealing with right now,” Black added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos