Jun 16, 2019

Norman Black wants Gani Lawal back

Meralco coach Norman Black is considering to insert Gani Lawal back into the lineup after the Bolts absorbed a stinging 104-91 loss to the TNT KaTropa on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Black said he will check with the team's physicians the possibility of playing Lawal against NLEX on Wednesday.

Lawal has been placed on the injured list after hurting his hamstring last week prompting Black to bring in a replacement import.

Barely two days upon his arrival, Jimmie Taylor made his debut against the Ka Tropa. Still feeling the effects of jet lag, he struggled all game. He eventually finished with 13 points and 18 rebounds.

Obviously, Black wasn't impressed.

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But the Meralco coach was also quick to defend Taylor for his inability to play on the same page with the Bolts

"In fairness to Jimmie he just arrived two days ago and there's no way he can possibly know our system after just 1 1/2 days of practice," Black said.

Taylor offered no excuses. Instead, he promised to play better and "come out and try to help my team more."

Black had seen enough, though.

Meralco holds a 3-4 (win-lost) record and has lost its last two games. Black knows another defeat could hurt the team's playoff bid.

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So understandably, he would want to gamble.

"You can see that Gani's more productive as a player, especially on the offensive end of the floor," Black pointed out.

"Maybe Jimmie can match up as far as rebounding is concerned but I think Gani's a better offensive player." (JT)