IT’s all in a day’s work for Arinze Onuaku.
After arriving on Wednesday midnight following a 24-hour flight from Washington, the American big man fixed his papers and had his official height measured in the morning.
Then he led Meralco to a 90-86 win over Star in its first game in the Commissioner’s Cup in the night.
“I’m sure he was pretty tired tonight,” Bolts coach Norman Black said of Onuaku, who finished with 25 points, 22 boards, and three assists in 43 minutes.
Four days before they started their campaign, the Bolts had to make a last-minute replacement for original import Malcolm Thomas, who suffered a knee injury.
“Fortunately, Arinze was available.”
But he didn’t fly in until midnight of their game, which hardly mattered for the NBA D-League veteran.
“I'm just trying to push through. That's all it was,” Onuaku said. “I'm hurting but I just tried to get it done.”
Black lauded his hard-working import for his perseverance.
He showed leadership for us, covered a lot of our weaknesses as far as rebounding and interior defense, and he made the big shot down the stretch to win the game.”
What’s more amazing is Onuaku had to learn some of the Bolts’ offensive schemes right before their game, with Black laying the foundation in a makeshift court near the entrance of the Big Dome.
“He put in three plays,” Onuaku said of Black. “When I was on the floor, we tried to keep the basics and that's what we did.”