MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio is at a loss to explain Macmac Cardona's miserable form.
Supposedly one of the go-to guys of the Bolts, more so after the departure of top gun Sol Mercado, Cardona has all but disappeared in the team's last two games, averaging just 2.5 points on a woeful 13 percent shooting (two-of-15) overall.
“I don’t know what’s going through his mind," Gregorio told Spin.ph. "I don’t think he can question the minutes he’s been getting.”
The Bolts have lost both of those games - against defending champion San Mig Coffee (71-76) and Barangay Ginebra (81-84) - and Gregorio is hoping Cardona can break out of the shooting funk ahead of their match against Globalport on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“He’s supposed to be the best local scorer in our team. I hope he recovers because we are in the lower half of the standings with still five games left,” Gregorio said.
Looking at the team's shot chart, the Meralco coach said it's not just 'Captain Hook' Cardona but the entire team that has been having a hard time finding the hoop as the Bolts slipped back to the middle of the pack after a mini-run in the PBA Commissioner's Cup eliminations.
“If you look at our shot chart, there’s a particular balance with our shooters and inside incursions. But it’s hard to win games if you can’t make layups,” he said.
For the Batang Pier, on the other hand, the game against the Bolts is a now-or-never situation.
With four games left in its schedule, cellar-dwelling Globalport needs to make a move now if it hopes to snap its conference-high seven-game losing skid and catch the playoff bus.
The Batang Pier also have a score to settle against the Bolts, having lost in the two teams' encounter last February 24 when Sunday Salvacion scored the game-winning three-pointer off-the-glass at the buzzer.
Batang Pier guard Sol Mercado will be facing his former team for the second time this conference, hoping to redeem himself after scoring just six points on three-of-14 shooting during their first meeting.