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PBA: Bolts need to hit lot of threes

The Meralco Bolts have conceded that they would need to make a lot of threes in order to be successful in the PBA Philippine Cup with no dominating import who can fill up the gap in the shaded lane.

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Meralco fired 39 three-point attempts in each of the first two games, resulting in a split of the first two games of the season-opening conference. That same aspect almost completed the Bolts’ 22-point comeback against the San Miguel Beermen before losing 103-97 Wednesday in Antipolo City.

“We made a lot of threes, which is something we wanna do every game,” Bolts coach Norman Black said after the loss.

“Can’t really fix the interior defense that much because of who we’re going up against,” added Black, referring to San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo. “But we did a lot of things that we said we wanted to do before the game, despite the fact we’re undermanned.”

The Bolts once again played without hustling forward Cliff Hodge and veteran Ranidel de Ocampo to injuries. Jared Dillinger also failed to suit up for the team after complaining of tightness in his hamstring.

Meralco is hoping to finally get wins in the all-Filipino tournament after combining for just four in the last editions. The Bolts have contended for the crown in the import-laden conferences highlighted by back-to-back finals appearances in the Governors’ Cup with Allen Durham leading the charge.

That is why the Bolts will live or die with the three-point shot, and Black is confident his players can get the job done.

New addition KG Canaleta hit five threes in Meralco’s 103-98 win over Blackwater last Dec. 22 while Mike Tolomia delivered 21 points against San Miguel, mostly from downtown.

Baser Amer, Dillinger and Reynel Hugnatan have also made theirs with consistency while they await for De Ocampo for additional long-range help.

“If we had more threes in the first half, we wouldn’t have been down by that amount,” Black said on his team’s big first-half hole against San Miguel. “We made the majority of our threes in the second half, but if we had just shot the ball better in the first half, it would have been a much closer game.”