KIA Motors is not just all about hulking import Peter John Ramos.
Assistant coach Chito Victolero stressed the need for the team’s local players to step up and support the 7-foot-4 Ramos after the Carnival absorbed their second straight loss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night against Meralco, 90-80, at the Astrodome.
The Carnival started out like a house on fire and led by as much as 11 points midway in the second period.
But a maze of turnovers and poor shot selection did them in during the second half.
The trio of Gary David, import Joshua Davis, and Jai Reyes came to the rescue of the Bolts, who notched their second consecutive win for the early lead in the mid-season tournament.
Victolero though, believes Ramos obviously needs all the local support he can get.
“We’re working on that (local support for Ramos). We need to be more aggressive para may tulong kay PJ because everybody knows we can’t win with PJ alone,” Victolero told Spin.ph after the game.
While Ramos had another monster performance of 34 points and 21 rebounds, only Kyle Pascual was the lone local to finish in double figures for the Carnival with 11 points.
Top forward Reil Cervantes, a candidate this early for the Most Improved Player award, missed the game against the Bolts due to a swollen right ankle.
“Ang problem is kailangan mag-contribute ang locals din namin, but we understand it’s a process, though we need to start winning,” he added.
The expansion franchise opened the tournament with a 100-89 loss to GlobalPort despite the 41-point, 20-rebound, six-assist effort of the Carnival’s giant import.
The Carnival take several days off before returning to action against newly-crowned Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beermen next Wednesday.