MERALCO is not about to take chances against a winless Globaport side when the Bolts tangle with the Batang Pier in Saturday’s main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The undermanned Bolts (1-1) are coming fresh from an 85-76 demolition of defending champion Alaska Aces behind the hot shooting hands of import Brian Butch.
But coach Ryan Gregorio said the team should not be complacent going to the 5:45 p.m. game, notwithstanding the 0-3 record of the Batang Pier.
“We want to follow up our big win against Alaska,” said Gregorio. “Defense will again play a major factor. They (Batang Pier) might be 0-3 now, but they are definitely a talented team. We cannot take chances.”
The Meralco coach said the key to beating Globalport is to dictate the tempo.
“We have to control the tempo of the game. With a depleted lineup, it is important that we play as a team on both ends of the floor,” said the multi-titled mentor. “Help each other on defense and make an unselfish basketball play on offense.”
Meralco will again miss playmaker Mike Cortez, who is out for the rest of the conference due to a knee injury, while Fil-Am Jared Dillinger is still listed as day-to-day due to a bacterial infection.
On the other hand, Globalport is still in search of a first victory under new coach Pido Jarencio.
The Batang Pier lost by a 75-91 blowout against San Mig Super Coffee in their last outing.