Meralco Bolts

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Meralco Bolts
Black looking at Newsome for Meralco starting point guard
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Meralco forward Chris Newsome. PBA IMAGES MANILA, Philippines—Norman Black need not look far for his new starting point guard after Meralco traded away Baser Amer to Blackwater. The multi-titled head coach seems to favor handing over the responsibility to versatile wingman Chris Newsome as the Bolts head into the 2021 PBA season. “I think Newsome can be a good point guard since we always get the ball in his hands, plus he’s our leader in assist last conference,” said Black, as per PBA.ph. Despite not being a true point guard, Newsome was given the role of primary ball-handler for the Bolts with the 6-foot-2 wing averaging 14.5 points and 4.7 assists a game, two marks that were tops for his team in the Philippine Cup. Still, letting go of Amer was a tough decision for Black who wanted to beef up his front court with the addition of versatile power forward Mac Belo. Amer was the team’s starting point guard since 2016 but Black felt that the front court needed priority. “We’ve been together for five years and we’ve made a good run together so it’s really an emotional moment for me trading him,” said Black. “On the other hand, we want to upgrade our front court and unload extra players in the backcourt because we have a lot of point guards in the team.” Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Eager for winner label, Belo looks to smoothen Meralco’s front line holes
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Mac Belo wants to be known as a winner. And he may just have gotten closer to realizing that wish after being shipped to Meralco. “My dream is to become a champion in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). I’ve been here for four years. Everyone here wants to be a champion. I think with this Meralco team, I have a greater chance of reaching that dream into a reality,” Belo said in former PBA chief Noli Eala’s radio show on Saturday. “And I haven’t experienced playing in the semifinals and the finals,” the soft-spoken forward, who won a title at Far Eastern University, said. “It’s in those stages players get to showcase their talents—when everything’s under pressure.” At Blackwater, Belo made the playoffs only thrice—and was promptly eliminated in the quarterfinals in all tries. The Elite dealt away Belo to the Bolts for playmaker Baser Amer and veteran bruiser Bryan Faundo on Thursday, giving Meralco a two-way big man who can operate in the post and shoot the basketball well from outside—and Belo a chance at a title. Meralco pushed Barangay Ginebra to the brink in the semifinals of the Philippine Cup last year before losing to the eventual champions via a Game 5 dagger triple from Scottie Thompson. Meralco coach Norman Black said in a press statement that he hopes to use the former Gilas trooper to plug the Bolts’ holes on its frontcourt, which is currently manned by Raymond Almazan and Noy Baclao. Belo’s arrival not only gives an added boost in its interior, but also an additional cog in its defensive machine. “Perhaps, what I can bring to the team, is my being a two-way player,” Belo said when asked why he thinks Meralco traded for him. “I can defend any position.” Meralco also hopes to get lucky in the coming Rookie Draft, which is said to be one of the deepest in league history. “We’re hoping to get a really good player,” Black then added. “It looks like it’s going to be a deep draft this year since they lifted some of the requirements.” Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Mac Belo acquisition to boost Meralco frontcourt, says Black
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Mac Belo is headed to Meralco. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines—For Meralco head coach Norman Black, letting go of  Baser Amer and Bryan Faundo was not an easy decision but it was a call he needed to make to address the holes in the Bolts’ roster. Both players were traded to Blackwater in exchange for versatile big Mac Belo in a deal that was approved Thursday. For the past half decade, Meralco has appeared several times over in the playoffs and the finals, thanks partly to the contributions of Amer and Faundo. But Black said acquiring the services of Belo addresses their issues in the frontcourt, where Meralco needs a boost. “We recruited Belo because our frontcourt is one of the areas where we need depth. We welcome him to the team and look forward to seeing his impact on our team,” Black said through a statement post on Meralco’s Twitter account. "I'm excited about the new challenge ahead. May liwanag ang buhay!" —@markbelo12 ⚡ #ChargeForward pic.twitter.com/ysq9C5tlYY — Meralco Bolts (@MeralcoBolts) February 4, 2021 The veteran coach, nonetheless, thanked both Amer, who under Black blossomed into a reliable starter for the Bolts, and Faundo. “I’ve been with Baser for a long time so it was difficult to come to this decision. He’s a valuable point guard and has been a big part of our team for the last five years. We are very, very thankful and grateful for his service,” said Black in a statement the Bolts posted on its official Twitter page. TEAM STATEMENT: @pbaconnect has approved the trade between Meralco Bolts and Blackwater Elite involving Baser Amer, Bryan Faundo, and Mac Belo. As we prepare for the upcoming PBA season, our organization thanks Baser and Bryan for their valuable contributions to the team. [1/6] pic.twitter.com/pB3KLkLUEw — Meralco Bolts (@MeralcoBolts) February 4, 2021 Amer had played for only Black so far in the PBA, arriving at Meralco as the seventh overall pick of the 2015 Draft. In the 2017-2018 season, he averaged 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists while shooting 40.4 percent from deep. “To gain something of value, you, unfortunately, must lose something of value as well,” said Black. Faundo, meanwhile, was already a journeyman when he had his second stint with the Bolts playing for seven PBA teams from 2009 to 2015. The 6-foot-6 Faundo proved his worth for the Bolts as a serviceable big man as he averaged 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in the 2020 Philippine Cup. “As we prepare for the upcoming PBA season, our organization thanks Baser and Bryan for their valuable contributions to the team,” wrote Meralco in its statement. “We believe this trade is beneficial to both teams, and will provide both players competitive environments to showcase their talents. As an organization, we remain committed to fair and exciting competition.” Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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