MERALCO coach Ryan Gregorio hopes returning import Mario West is the missing link that could spark the Bolts defense, which the mentor feels, is to blame for their winless start in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Bolts have allowed an average of 98.3 points to their opponents in their last three games - all losses, where they scored an average of just 91.7 points.
“We know our defense leaves a lot to be desired … so he will help our defense because of his lock-down defensive mentality,” Gregorio said of West, who replaces Terrence Williams, the former NBA lottery pick who failed to live up to the hype.
“He brings with him a lot of toughness and experience in the Philippines brand of basketball,” the Meralco coach added.
West joined his first practice with the Bolts just hours after arriving on Monday morning, confirmed Gregorio.
With the former NBA veteran in tow, the Bolts seek to avoid a fourth straight defeat that would endanger their campaign in the short season-ending tournament as they take on defending champion San Mig Super Coffee on Tuesday.
Tipoff is at 5:45 p.m at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“At this point, we just need to make some course corrections. We need to do something drastic,” said Gregorio, whose team lost to Barangay Ginebra, 82-95, last Saturday.
Turning things around will be harder as the Bolts face a Mixers side that is also trying to recover from a 90-92 loss to San Miguel Beer last Sunday.
There is definitely a sense of urgency for the grand slam-seeking Mixers considering how short the competition is.
“One loss is pretty big,” Mixers forward Joe Devance said. “So hopefully we can win two games back to back and see where we are.”