Here we go again.

The Meralco Bolts were given a chance to redeem themselves and possibly pump life into their season with a matchup against Barako Bull Enery in their last game and despite a marvelous scoring effort from the ageless Gary David, their defense gave up as much as they scored and more and the Bolts were once against left winless in the PBA.

At this point, I don’t want to have to say again that the Bolts defense is bad. But I will anyway because it’s the truth. The Bolts defense is really bad.

Over the past 3 years, no team has topped the elusive 110 Defensive Rating in the Philippine Cup and only one team (Global Port in 2014 Governor’s Cup) has reached that summit. The Bolts are at 110.4 right now.

The defense should get better eventually because their level of individual talent simply shouldn’t allow the their defense to be this bad throughout the entire conference, but it still is pretty bad. What’s worse is that arguably the Bolts best defensive player, Cliff Hodge, seems to not be playing at 100% condition. He played in bits and pieces in the game against Barako (and even in those bits and pieces he looked hurt) and the Bolts defense were clearly suffering from missing out on their star defender.

But once again, the Bolts will be given another chance to redeem themselves against another team that are on the wrong side of the scale.

Hello, Ginebra.

In a way, I guess that these teams are pretty much under similar circumstances. Both teams are slowly adapting to changes (Bolts: Alapag, Newsome, Ginebra: Cone, JDV) but it was expected that their great level of individual talent would make up for the growing pains.

It didn’t, and both squads now have only one win between themselves.


Let’s take a look at Ginebra. The Twin Towers of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter are dragging them across the playing field with Slaughter in particular carrying the load.

Gregzilla is averaging 25.8 points, 18.0 rebounds with off 59.1% field goal shooting, 75.8% free throw shooting, and 68 “Gaddayum!” exclamations while reading that stat line.

It’s even more surprising when you learn that with Slaughter playing at that level, Ginebra are now dead last in the PBA in terms of offensive rating (after the Bolts let Barako Bull make almost every shot they wanted) at 93.0. It should be refreshing for the Bolts defense to get another chance at redemption against a struggling offensive team. Personally, I would be pretty satisfied if the Bolts allowed Slaughter to have another monster game if they were able to stop everyone else on the Ginebra squad to contribute.

I don’t know if that is hoping for too much, but we have to set our expectations somewhere.

In an 11 game conference, the Bolts have gone almot halfway without logging a win. While they have played powerhouses San Miguel and Talk ‘N Text, the 7 remaining games are not going to be easy with Rain Or Shine, Alaska Aces, and Global Port still lined up.

If they still want to make a run for the playoffs, this game is a must-win.



Game Details
TIME: 7:00PM