The short-handed Meralco Bolts opened the 2018 Fiba Asia Champions Cup
with a 100-92 loss to Mono Vampire of Thailand. They lost to Alvark
Tokyo, 84-73, after which they shocked Al Riyadi with a 96-63 pounding
in their last assignment of the group stage.
Because of the quotient system, Meralco was given a chance to compete
in the semi-finals against Petrochimi of Iran.
Petrochimi is stacked with Iranian national players in Sajjad
Mashayeki, Benham Yakchali, Ashgar Kardoust, Mohammad Jamshidi who
himself once played briefly for Meralco two years ago, Arslan Kazemi,
and Rouzbeh Arghavan. Surprisingly, Jamshidi was not fielded by their
coach, Mehran Hatami.
The Bolts struggled to get consistent local support for imports Allen
Durham and Diamond Stone. Garvo Lanete and Mike Tolomia provided it,
but it wasn’t enough as KG Canaleta and Baser Amer struggled.
Consistency is the key word in local support. Reynel Hugnatan and Amer
helped out the imports against Mono Vampire.
There was no local scored in double digits against Alvark Tokyo.
Against Al Riyadi, the local support finally showed up with Garvo
Lanete, Canaleta, and Anjo Caram all scoring in double figures. Amer
was two points away from double figures.
With a chance to salvage a bronze medal, Amer and Canaleta were able
to help out Durham and Stone. But again, it wasn’t enough.