Everyone has had those IQ tests where they show you a bunch of squares and circles, triangles and dots in a certain sequence and expect you to figure out what the next item should be.
In a way, as a sports fan, we are doing the same thing before every single game. We take a look at the previous games (squares, circles, triangles, dots, etc..) and we make an expectation of what our team’s performance in the next game will look like.
…that wasn’t much help. The Meralco Bolts have been all over the place. They’ve kept going back and forth with wins and losses. Even worse, how they win and lose lack a certain pattern. When they have shot well, they’ve won (58.9 percent eFG in win against the Beermen) and lost (53.5 eFG% in loss against Barako Bull). Their offensive rebounding doesn’t really point to anything concrete as they’ve won at their lowest (22.9 OREB% in win against the Beerman) and at their highest (35.6 OREB% in win against STAR Hotshots). Their pace has been up and down and isn’t related to their wins and losses.
But here is a number that might be of good use: Their top two games in Total Rebounding Percentage (TRB%), they’ve won. It’s totally cliché and worn out, but for the Meralco Bolts, rebounding does win games.
Newly-acquired Kelly Nabong might not have shown much in his first outing against Barako Bull, but he was a pretty good rebounder (with an uncharacteristically low TRB% of 10 percent last conference) before he moved to Meralco in the John Wilson switch. Nabong could be a game changer as he is able to be a part of controlling the boards for the Bolts to put their record at .500 with 3 wins and losses.
Luckily for the Bolts, they will be playing a Blackwater Elite team that isn’t that good at rebounding themselves (third lowest in TRB%).
The Bolts are coming off two games which they have played quite well if you take away the second half turnover meltdown against the Barako Bull. They have done a better job at getting steals and going out on the break to get more efficient shots. If they can maintain their shooting and return back to not turning the ball over, it shouldn’t take much for them to beat the Blackwater Elite, a team that has struggled to find their footing in the PBA.
Brian Heruela will be the trump card for Blackwater. He might post a negative net rating when he is on the court (-9.6) but once he gets off the court, Blackwater is much worse (-43.5, easily the lowest off-court net rating). If the Bolt’s shaky point guard position doesn’t hold steady, Heruela could take advantage of that and propel Blackwater to a 2-4 record.
If all of the numbers don’t make any sense, I guess you can just refer to their pattern of winning after every game that they lost and make peace with that.
TV: LIVE ON TV5, AKSYONTV, AND FOX SPORTS
RADIO: RADYO 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 4:15 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Chris Ruzol (rivals.PH) and Sherwin Vardeleon (cnnphilippines.com)