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    Bolts 'two players' away from title shot, says coach as rumors swirl

    Jan 15, 2013

    MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio is open to the possibility of shaking up his roster if it could bolster the franchise’s bid to win a first ever PBA championship.

    Gregorio acknowledged the Bolts have always been a `middle team’ from the time they joined the league three years ago.

    And he seems convinced that for the team to break the barrier, a little sacrifice is needed.

    “Since the inception of our franchise, we've been a middle team. The challenge is how to break the wall and be one of the upper-tier teams in the league,” Gregorio said in a talk with all the way from Reno, Nevada where he has been scouting possible imports in the NBA Developmental League and Showcase.

    “It’s hard for me on a personal level because my (previous) team (Purefoods) has reached the ‘promised land’ before,” said Gregorio, who won three titles with the San Miguel Group of Companies before.

    “But of course, I have to be realistic and patient about the process. It is not a quick fix. We try again in the next conference, hopefully with a better finish.”

    Gregorio’s take about a Meralco revamp for the coming Commissioner’s Cup came amidst rumors of a multi-player trade that, among others, may involve Barangay Ginebra big man Kerby Raymundo, with Meralco as his possible destination.

    It’s no secret that the 31-year-old Raymundo blossomed as one of the league’s top big men under the stewardship of Gregorio where they teamed up to give Purefoods (now San Mig Coffee) three championships from 2002 to 2010.

    Continue reading below ↓

    The 40-year-old Gregorio declined to comment about the trade talks, and instead said the Bolts are looking for an “all-around player” who could plug major holes in the team.

    “The discussions on roster movements have not hit first base. But, if the movements will improve our roster power, then it will obviously be a welcome development,” he said.

    “My feeling is that we are actually two players away from making the top four…(like) an all-around player who has championship pedigree, innate leadership qualities, and of course, a damn good player. We are open, the goal is to plug-in, get stronger as a team, and get closer to the championship.”

    For the mid-season conference, the Bolts are parading former NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year Eric Dawson.

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