Meralco needs to adjust to calls, says coach
MANILA, Philippines – With their backs against the wall, the Meralco Bolts will need to adjust to how referees are calling the fouls in their best-of-five semi-finals series against the San Mig Coffee Mixers if they want to force a do-or-die game.
This, according to Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio.
The Bolts are on the brink of elimination as they trail 1-2 in the series with Game Four set for Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
“We could have pulled the rug from under San Mig Coffee (in Game 3). Foul trouble killed our chances,” Gregorio told PBA.ph.
“It’s hard for us to defend with the way officials are making the calls. In the elimination round, we were the best defensive team and we allowed the least number of free throws with only 16 per game,” he added.
That has changed in the semi-finals, Gregorio noted. “We’ve been whistled for 29.6 fouls per game while only 15.6 by San Mig,” he said.
Gregorio said the Bolts will have to adjust to how referees are calling the game.
“Obviously, we need to adjust even if it is late in the conference. We cannot get close to them, because it is a foul,” he said. “We need to get the same respect for the hard work that we render, even if we are the new kids on the block with no superstars in our roster.”
Aside from the foul calls, the Bolts will also have to overcome the loss of import Mario West, as their reinforcement is doubtful for tonight’s game after suffering an injury in Game 3.
“Hopefully, he can play,” said Gregorio. “Admittedly, it is hard to win without Mario.”