MERALCO hopes to finally solve its puzzle, seeking to barge into the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup as it squares off with Star on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Bolts have lost their first five games after entering the All-Filipino conference with plenty of promise thanks to a retooled roster.
Their frustrations mounted after they lost to Barangay Ginebra, 89-64, on Tuesday in Biñan, Laguna where they fired blanks, shooting just 31 percent from the field.
“There is no one-word solution for our problem,” Bolts coach Norman Black said after practice on Thursday. “Normally, hard work will probably solve everything, any problem that you might have, so we just have to continue to work hard. There’s no other substitute for it.”
“You can’t become negative, because that’s not going to help the situation any,” added the champion coach, who has rarely been on a losing streak this long.
“So players have to remain positive in their attitude and the coaching staff has to continue to work hard to fix the problem and hopefully we’ll break out of this sooner than later.”
The only winless team in the league, the Bolts hope to finally arrest their slump when they take on the Hotshots at 5:15 p.m. in a matchup preceded by a tussle featuring Rain or Shine (3-1) which seeks a share of the lead, facing Blackwater (1-3) at 3 o’clock.
While Gary David continues to run the show, the Bolts also expect significant contribution from rookies Chris Newsome and Baser Amer, and returnees Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Jimmy Alapag, whose entries have forced the team to restart in in jelling process.
“The chemistry hasn’t been the way we would like it to be,” Black said. “We just have to continue to work on it.”
The Hotshots (2-3) are another team building chemistry under new coach Jason Webb, and are seeking to recover from a 91-86 loss to Talk ‘N Text last week in Lucena.