FOLLOWING an explosive debut against powerhouse Talk ‘N Text, Meralco import Eric Dawson was sent crashing back to earth by Alaska in an 85-81 win over the Bolts in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-9 Dawson finished the game with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field, a far cry from his 37-point explosion in the Bolts’ 99-92 upset of the Tropang Texters in their debut game last week.
But the Midwestern State alumnus offered no excuses for the loss that saw him outclassed by Alaska counterpart Robert Dozier, who earned Best Player of the Game honors after leading the Aces with 27 points, 17 rebounds, and six shot blocks.
“The other team (Alaska) was a good team. Their local players were also tall so it was an adjustment for me. But again, I don’t want to make any excuses,” Dawson told Spin.ph after emerging from the team dugout.
Dawson had 13 rebounds against the Aces compared to the 14 he had against Talk `N Text, including four block shots.
But despite his meager numbers, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo believes Dawson is a Best Import material owing to his impressive credentials back in the US where he was named the 2012 NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year before joining Meralco.
“If there’s a team we’re scared of, it’s Meralco. They’ve (Bolts) got a really good import. He’s the type of import who can really win the (Best) Import of the Conference,” Trillo said.
Compliment like that doesn’t bring pressure to him, according to Dawson, but rather challenges him to work harder and improve his game as he tries to help Meralco shed its tag as a middle-tier team.
“It’s a challenge for me. But I’ve got to take that challenge every night and then leave it on the floor. My team makes me better and I make them better. It’s what it is,” added Dawson, who vows to bounce back strong on Saturday against Rain or Shine in the first out-of-town game this conference in Puerto Princesa City.