PBA: Coach Norman challenges all of Meralco to help each other shine bright

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 09, 2019 08:56 PM
Coach Norman challenges Meralco to help each other shine
Coach Norman Black is looking for much more total team effort from Meralco

Norman Black has no doubt that Gani Lawal has been as good as advertised for Meralco in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

"Gani's been productive. Let's not kid ourselves," he told reporters following their matchup opposite Alaska, Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo. "I think he's averaging 28 points and 23, 22 rebounds a game so that's productive."

Indeed, he has posted per game counts of 28.5 points and 22 rebounds in his first go-round in Asia's first pay-for-play league.

The Nigerian-American reinforcement had monster numbers anew with 27 points and 26 rebounds up against the Aces.

Only, it was all for naught as the Bolts were at the losing end. "At the same time, he has to do a better job of making his teammates better because tonight, he had one assist and eight turnovers. That's really been (his assist-turnover) ratio since he's been here," coach Norman said.

He then continued, "So while he does get his points and rebounds, he also has to focus on how he can make his teammates better."

Indeed, through six games, Lawal has totaled only eight assists as opposed to 31 turnovers.

In the eyes of Meralco's multi-titled mentor, though, it's not just their import who has to step up in terms of team play. "That's really been my concern so far in this conference. It seems that when the locals are involved in the offense, we do a lot better, but when the offense is a little bit stagnant, then we struggle," he said, also pointing out that 13 assists and 22 turnovers in their defeat to Alaska.

He then continued, "We need better ball movement if we want to win. In the games that we moved the basketball, we won and in the games that we became a little bit one-on-one-oriented, we lost."

The good news for the Bolts is that at 3-3, they remain in the thick of things and have more than enough time to turn things around. "I'm preaching it every day. I just hope it sticks with the players in every game so we have a better chance of winning," coach Norman said.

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