Free-throw shooting woes magnified in loss, but Arinze Onuaku still irreplaceable at Meralco, says Black 
Arinze Onuaku's paint presence more than compensates for his free-throw shooting woes. Jerome Ascano 

MERALCO coach Norman Black said Arinze Onuaku’s upside more than makes up for his weakness in his game, free throw shooting, which became very evident in the Bolts’ 81-79 loss to Magnolia on Friday.

Onuaku had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists for the Bolts on Friday night’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup match but it didn’t result in a victory as the former NBA cager missed on four free throws down the stretch.

Black, however, said Onuaku is very much an asset to the Bolts despite his free throws woes.

“Obviously, he gives us a lot of other things on the court to help us win games. But that was a sour aspect of the game tonight. But that’s part of it. You just have to live with it and move on,” said Black.

Despite his confidence in his import, Black said Onuaku will really have to work on his free throws after missing 16 charities.

“Tonight, he had a lot of opportunities to separate us in the game. If he had made a couple of those foul shots, obviously we could have pulled away. Everytime he got the ball offensively, they started fouling him on purpose.

“In that situation, you just have to step up and make them,” said Black.

The Bolts squandered a seven-point lead in the final two minutes of the game to bow to the Hotshots to fall to a 3-2 record.

While Black felt there were contentious calls late in the game, Black felt they shot themselves in the foot with those missed charities.

“We could have won, we should have won. We had our chances that’s for sure. We were up by seven with over a minute left in the game. It’s a tough loss for us.

“Wasn’t really happy with the last couple of calls the referees made but at the same time, we also missed our foul shots. That’s probably one of the main reasons why we lost,” said Black.

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