Meralco Bolts reinforcement Arinze Onuaku is slowly getting back into shape following a rough start to the 2018 PBA Commissioners Cup.
Tough in the sense that the former Best Import wasn’t at a hundred percent to start the conference.
Onuaku battled a stomach virus before the start of the Commissioners Cup, going in and out of the hospital, but has managed to keep producing for the Bolts, putting up 30 points and 19 boards in his debut - a win over Columbian Dyip - and then going for 21 points and 14 boards in their close loss to Globalport.
Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum against the NLEX Road Warriors, Onuaku was again effective for the Bolts as he put up 15 points, pulled down a game-high 23 rebounds to help get the dominant 106-90 victory.
After the game, the 30-year old Maryland native said that he was indeed in better shape than the weeks prior.
“I feel better, last week was tough, but we had a little time off so I was able to get my body recovered a little bit.”
With Meralco improving to 2-1 after Friday’s contest, Onuaku is confident that he and the Bolts are in a good spot to contend for a championship, especially with the right game plan.
“We’re gonna be alright, we just gotta continue to put the work in in practice and do what we practiced in the game.”
“Today I think we were able to take some things from practice to the game that helped us.” Onuaku added.
For the second game in a row, Onuaku wasn’t Meralco’s main offensive threat, as guard Chris Newsome paced the Bolts’ offense with 30 points, but that wasn’t an issue for the six-foot-nine forward.
Plus, being tightly guarded all game long likely played a factor as well.
“That’s what happens when you got three people on you, you pass the ball, so that’s what I’mma do.”
Arinze finished with five assists, just one shy of playmaker Baser Amer’s team-high six.
Up next for Arinze and the Bolts will be a showdown with defending champions San Miguel Wednesday, May 9th at the Mall of Asia Arena.