By Jonas Terrado
Arinze Onuaku looks to continue the Meralco Bolts’ trend of contending in import-laden conferences as he makes his return for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which starts this weekend.
Onuaku is expected to replicate the performance that won him the Best Import honors in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup and provide the needed presence Meralco sorely lacked in the recent Philippine Cup.
Meralco failed to advance in the Philippine Cup playoffs for the third straight season after going 4-7 in the eliminations.
“I’ll do whatever I can just to get as many wins as possible. That’s the goal,” said Onuaku, who averaged 18.7 points, 17.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 blocks for the Bolts two years ago.
The Bolts have been in the semifinals in four of the last conferences with imports, including two losses to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the last two Governors’ Cup Finals powered by Best Import Allen Durham.
Onuaku’s stint in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup also resulted in a semis berth but the Bolts fell one victory shy of advancing to the finals and lost to the Alaska Aces in five games.
Coach Norman Black is confident that Onuaku can once again get the job done for Meralco despite once again missing Ranidel de Ocampo to another injury.
De Ocampo hurt his left Achilles during practice, an injury that came after recovering from a torn muscle on his left calf that sidelined him throughout the Philippine Cup.