BRIAN Butch may just have signed his walking papers from Meralco on Wednesday night.
Coach Ryan Gregorio announced the team will make a final decision regarding the fate of its import following the Bolts’ 96-79 loss to Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Three days after his monster 41-point, 30-rebound effort in a win over Air21, Butch was held down to a PBA career-low of 11 points and 13 rebounds after playing for just 30 minutes.
Gregorio, however, pointed out that Butch is suffering from intestinal flu during the game against the Elasto Painters.
“I think it (Butch’s bad game) has something to do with intestinal flu,” Gregorio told sports scribes after the game.
”He was chilling after the game kaya natakot ako and so we tried to call an ambulance. But he still wanted to walk his way out going to Cardinal Santos,” he added.
Darnell Jackson, Meralco’s standby import, has been in town since early last week as rumors of Butch being on the way out began to circulate.
But Gregorio said he’ll be talking to management first on Thursday before making the final decision on whether to let Jackson play next week against Barangay Ginebra or stick it out with the 6-foot-9 Butch.
“I’m not a fair weather coach. I know what he’s done for the team,” Gregorio admitted.
“We’re 3-3, and we’re in the middle of pack. These are just some of the things he has done for us that are well appreciated,” added the Meralco coach, who disclosed he’s still having a hard time deciding on the fate of the well-liked import.
“But it (letting Jackson play) has always been an option though it’s not a solid decision yet. In the next 24 hours, we’ll have a more solid decision.”
Butch played just 11 minutes in the second half.
“It’s just not worth it (playing Butch) so after the game, he was just in the bath room. Hopefully, things will be better for him, though it’s tough because some of it is has something to do with our schedule, like we’re playing three games in six days,” explained the Meralco mentor.