MERALCO unveils newly-acquired point guard Mike Cortez when it puts its winning streak on the line against sputtering Globalport on Wednesday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coach Ryan Gregorio admitted he doesn’t see the veteran six-foot playmaker making an immediate impact with the Bolts after only a few days of practice with the team since being traded away by Air21 along with James Sena for the playing rights of big man Asi Taulava and Mark Borboran.
Nonetheless, he welcomes the arrival of Cortez in the roster especially with the Bolts in the midst of a three-game winning run following victories over Talk `N Text, Alaska, and Rain or Shine, thanks to a solid team defense.
“We are slowly getting a reputation as a solid defensive unit. But reputation alone is not enough. Effort must be rendered and action must be taken,” said Gregorio of his 4-2 (win-loss) team.
The Bolts will be putting their streak on the line against a Batang Pier side (2-4) that will be trying to halt a three-game losing streak and revive its sagging quarterfinal hopes.
Game time is set at 5:15 p.m.
Against the Batang Pier, the Bolts will again lean on versatile import Mario West, who has led the way for the team in its current winning run.
The 29-year-old West, a product of Georgia Tech, is averaging 28.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.1 steals in 40.0 minutes of play.
The Batang Pier, meanwhile, hope to put behind their bitter 97-98 loss to Barako Bull in a game that saw them squander an 18-point third-quarter lead.