Meneses wants 'missing link' Poutouochi to step up for JRU to make waves in D-League playoffs
Vergel Meneses wants Abdel Poutouochi to attack the paint rather than settle for fade away jumpers. Dante Peralta

DESPITE clinching a quarterfinals spot in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Jose Rizal University coach Vergel Meneses was none too pleased particularly after another subpar performance from Abdel Poutouochi.

Meneses didn't mince words after the Heavy Bombers’ 86-77 win over Wangs on Tuesday at the JCSGO Gym, saying that if JRU plans to make waves in the Aspirants Cup playoffs, Poutouochi needs to step up.  

"Ang tingin ko, the missing link is Abdel," said Meneses, after the African slotman hardly made his presence felt in Tuesday's victory which formalized the team's entry into the quarterfinals. 

Poutouochi finished with a measly six points and nine rebounds, while committing five turnovers in almost 19 minutes of play.  

[See Teodoro catches fire late to lift JRU past Wangs]

But Meneses also has other concerns for the 6-10 reinforcement expected to hold his own, if not dominate, his counterparts in the opening conference. 

"The other big men can easily defend him," he said. "He's always shooting fade aways. I keep on telling him to go hard to the basket."

At 4-4, JRU still has a shot at clinching the fourth spot and the twice-to-beat edge. But it has to win its last assignment against Tanduay on March 14.  

Regardless of the outcome of that game, though, Meneses said the Heavy Bombers are only after the experience.  

"We're here to gain experience. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, just keep on fighting. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain," he said.  

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros