Meralco Bolts target stronger team chemistry with paintball match after practice
Jimmy Alapag and his fellow Meralco veterans organized the paintball match, the team's first off-court activity with import Arinze Onuaku. Karlo Sacamos

THEY tried to be on target – not from the field – but at each other.

The Meralco Bolts maximized their last day of training before the Holy Week break by taking part in a paintball match after practice on Wednesday outside the Meralco gym.

Before going on a three-day break, the Bolts traded their jerseys for protective gear and paintball guns, engaging in a friendly among themselves in a makeshift paintball arena at the Meralco field.

Bolts star point guard Jimmy Alapag organized the activity along with fellow veterans John Ferriols, Reynel Hugnatan, and Jared Dillinger as a team-building session with import Arinze Onuaku, who was tapped as a replacement for the injured Lance Thomas.

“It's a collective idea to put something like this together, and it gives everybody a chance to spend some time with our import,” Alapag said. “This is the first time we did anything with Arinze because he came in late to start the conference.”

“We're out here competing and battling everyday so it's nice to relax a little and do something fun,” he added.

Divided into two groups of seven, the Bolts exhausted non-toxic paint bullets as they shot at each other.

The match became too competitive at one point when Simon Atkins accidentally hit Ryan Buenafe, wearing his practice shorts, on his right leg, leaving it with light bruising.

In the end, the activity strengthened the bond of the Bolts, who are enjoying the view from the top of the Commissioner’s Cup standings with a 6-2 win-loss recrord.

“It's part of the process,” Alapag said. “We’re a team that has been trying to develop a culture where we're used to winning.”

“As much as we come in here early every day and do our work before and after practice, part of that process is spending time together off the court, whether having a meal together or watching movies or doing something like paintball,” he added.


And oh, before you ask, Gary David was not part of the shootout.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos