MERALCO welcomes back Cliff Hodge on Sunday when the Bolts battle Barako Bull and try to get out of a slump in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-4 Hodge averaged 8.0 points, 9.o rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his first two games this conference, before going down with a sprained ankle that sidelined him for the last four weeks.
But his comeback in the 3 p.m. game hopefully will energize a Bolts team currently in a tie for sixth to eighth spot with a 3-5 slate.
Meralco had lost three of its last four games, including two straight against Petro and Alaska.
“All can be answered by our personnel. And most of our woes at this point will be addressed by Cliff, just by his presence,” said Gregorio.
Despite the ongoing skid, Gregorio isn’t in panic mode yet, knowing fully well that a strong second round performance can help the Bolts secure a position within Nos. 3 to 6, and at least guarantee a playoff spot.
“We’re still occupying the 6 to 10 slots but we just want to be at the (Nos.) 3 to 6. So going to the second round, I hope we can start winning,” said Gregorio.
The Bolts are facing an Energy squad that lost its last six games, including Friday’s heartbreaking 80-87 overtime defeat to three-time defending champion Talk ‘N Text.
Barako Bull currently carries a 2-6 record to occupy the ninth spot.