Big boost for Bolts

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netArinze Onuaku’s massive frame has done wonders for Meralco—and created nightmares for other teams in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Four straight victories so far attest to that.“He’s controlling the inside for us,” said Meralco coach Norman Black of his hulking import, who attracts the defense, leaving most of the Bolts with open looks at the rim.ADVERTISEMENT Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees MOST READ They need to end the elimination round with a win over the Batang Pier, who got clobbered by the Fuel Masters two days ago, 135-108, to keep their hunt for a quarterfinal spot alive.“I will make sure that our guys will give everything we have to get that pivotal fifth win,” said Columbian coach Ricky Dandan.Bidding to survive this one, the Batang Pier (4-5) have to close out their elimination campaign also with a victory against the Gin Kings.GlobalPort will have to deal with a major change in its roster after sending bruiser Kelly Nabong to San Miguel Beer in exchange for veteran Gabby Espinas and a 2020 second-round pick.The 6-foot-5 Nabong, who loves to mix toughness with swagger in the lane, joins a vaunted Beermen frontline that already currently includes four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, rookie sensation Christian Standhardinger and import Renaldo Balkman.“He’s a good addition to the team. Kelly has definitely added more depth to our frontline,” said coach Leo Austria, whose Beermen are situated in the middle of the chart (4-4) in their quest for a quarterfinal seat.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES Onuaku will literally be in the middle of things anew as the Bolts face the TNT KaTropa Friday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, aiming to inch closer to a valuable twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.But he will have to deal with another giant physical force in TNT’s Josh Smith, whose similar efficiency has been overshadowed by back-to-back losses that pulled the KaTropa down to a 6-3 record.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Bolts definitely have the psychological edge entering their 7 p.m. after stopping the streaking Alaska Aces on their tracks with a 15-point victory.“It’s a critical game on our bid to gain a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. We have control of our fate but we have to keep on winning,” said Black. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan “If we lose, we go down in the team standings as quickly,” added Black.TNT practically has the same mind-set as coach Nash Racela seeks to win their last two games against the Bolts and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters for a chance to earn a twice-to-beat edge.The top two teams after the 11-game elimination secure the twice-to-beat leverage over the seventh- and eighth-ranked qualifiers while teams in the middle figure in a best-of-three series.Both GlobalPort and Columbian are hoping to make it to the quarters as they tangle in the 4:30 p.m. curtain-raiser at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.Columbian got blown away by the Barangay Ginebra Kings on Wednesday and fell to 4-6 in the standings in a tie with the Phoenix Fuel Masters.ADVERTISEMENT Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Busmen widen PFL lead to12 points Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more