Meralco out to reclaim lost glory after a disappointing performance in the Philippine Cup

The Meralco Bolts had high expectations in last conference's Philippine Cup but they faltered.
This season, Meralco will try its luck again anchored by their well and determination.

Philippine Cup Acquisations

Meralco made some offseason moves prior to the start of the Philippine Cup.
They acquired high-scoring Gilas guard Gary David from GlobalPort in exchange for Chris Ross, Chris Timberlake and Meralco's 2016 and 2017 second round picks.

They have also traded the rights of Asi Taulava to Air21 in exchange for "Cool Cat" Mike Cortez , and shipped former franchise player Mark Cardona to Air21 via a three-team trade. They acquired underachieving and former Rookie of the Year big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini. They also acquired Kerby Raymundo from Ginebra for Jay-R Reyes. Raymundo has yet to play for the Bolts since he was traded because of a nagging knee injury, and is contemplating retirement.
Midway through the eliminations, they signed up former two-time league MVP Danny Ildefonso for the rest of the conference, who was unceremoniously let go by Petron. After realizing that Danny I still has what it takes to play, and can still help the team in terms of his leadership and positive influence, the Bolts signed him for the rest of the season.

Philippine Cup Performance

During the PBA Philippine Cup conference, they were off to a good start, and were able to beat top-seed teams like powerhouse Ginebra. However, they suffered losing streaks and ended up in a four way tie with Alaska, GlobalPort and Barako Bull.

Since Barako Bull and GlobalPort have higher quotients, Meralco was forced to play a sudden death game with Alaska Aces to determine the eighth and final playoff spot. The Aces defeated them and thus they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Brian Butch as Import

And its time for Meralco to move on.
After weeks of shopping for an import, Meralco has finally decided to tap former NBA Developmental League Impact Player of the Year Brian Butch as the Bolts seek redemption in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup set to kick off on March 5.

Listed at 6-foot-11, the 29-year-old Butch is arriving this week to join the Bolts, who are coming off a woeful ninth place finish in the Philippine Cup.

Undrafted in the NBA in 2008, Butch averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Bakersfield Jam en route to being named the NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year in the 2009-10 season.

His stellar play earned him a slot in the NBA D-League All Stars where he won MVP honors after tallying 18 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes.

Butch, from Appleton, Wisconsin, played four seasons in the NBA D-League, with career averages of 14.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 137 games played.

He suited up for the Jam for three seasons and played briefly for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Gregorio's expectation on Butch

Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio declined to comment on Butch as of the moment, though he is hopeful that the former Wisconsin big man could help the team’s campaign in the import-laced conference.

The Bolts played a tuneup game Tuesday morning, prevailing against the UAAP team Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 106-93, with Gary David scoring 22 points and big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini adding 12.

This Season's Expectation
Gregorio believes that his team has the capability to match powerhouse teams like Ginebra, San Miguel, Rain Or Shine and the Philippine Cup champion San Mig Coffee.
Gregorio will have Cortez as their primary point guard while David will carry the scoring cudgels for the B-Boys. Jared Dillinger will start at the small forward spot.

Reynel Hugnatan will still man the frontcourt along side the Import and Al-Hussaini.

Ildefonso, John Wilson, Cliff Hidge and Sunday Salvacion will provide some sparks of the bench.

--- with reports from

Meralco Bolts roster
Pos.#POBNameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY–MM–DD)From
PG0Mandani, AJ6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)185 lb (84 kg)1987-01-01MS&T
C2Raymundo, Kerby Injured6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)215 lb (98 kg)1987-01-01Letran
SF3Omolon, Nelbert6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)185 lb (84 kg)1980-06-30PCU
SG4Wilson, John6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)190 lb (86 kg)1987-01-18JRU
PF7Hodge, Cliff6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)195 lb (88 kg)1988-02-03Reedley
C8Allado, Don6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)210 lb (95 kg)1977-06-10De La Salle
F/C10Ildefonso, Danny6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)210 lb (95 kg)1976-12-09NU
PG11Cortez, Mike5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)170 lb (77 kg)1980-11-10De La Salle
PG16Artadi, Paul5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)150 lb (68 kg)1981-05-05UE
PG17Caram, Anjo5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)150 lb (68 kg)N/ASan Beda
G/F20Dillinger, Jared (C)6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)220 lb (100 kg)1984-01-06USAF
PF21Hugnatan, Reynel6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)210 lb (95 kg)1978-11-03UM
SG24Guevarra, Rey6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)175 lb (79 kg)1985-11-24Letran
PF25Al-Hussaini, Rabeh6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)240 lb (109 kg)1988-08-11Ateneo
SG28David, Gary6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)170 lb (77 kg)1978-07-13Lyceum
F/C31Sena, James6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)215 lb (98 kg)1988-08-31JRU
SF80Salvacion, Sunday6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)190 lb (86 kg)1978-12-17CSB
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Team manager
  • Butch Antonio

  • (C) Team captain
  • (I) Import
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Meralco out to reclaim lost glory after a disappointing performance in the Philippine Cup Meralco out to reclaim lost glory after a disappointing performance in the Philippine Cup Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/28/2014 Rating: 5

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