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Meralco to discuss Johnny O'Bryant's fate following seven-point game vs. Phoenix

Johnny O'Bryant had his worst outing as a Meralco Bolt
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—The last thing that could happen to Johnny O'Bryant happened on Wednesday night.

The Meralco import was held to only seven points in an 82-89 loss to Phoenix at the PhilSports Arena.

[Related Story: Phoenix spoils Bong Quinto's career game, zaps Meralco for 3rd straight win]

Just when the Bolts needed an offensive boost to steal the win after holding the Fuel Masters to just 13 points in the final frame and with Bong Quinto having a career game, they could not find it in O'Bryant, who was held scoreless in the fourth.

While O'Bryant was technically low-key flirting with a triple-double as he too had 16 rebounds and nine assists, it was his dismal scoring, where he was held to 2-of-17 shooting, 1-for-9 on twos and 1-for-8 on threes, and his error-prone game, where he had six turnovers, that mattered the most.

"Obviously, you don't want your import scoring seven points. It gives you almost no chance of winning," Coach Norman Black said after the game.

Black also said that O'Bryant's off-night made Meralco miss its key players, Chris Newsome, Chris Banchero, Mac Belo, and Nonoy Baclao, more.

"It doesn't help that we're missing some key players. I was hoping that his performance would go up during the stretch where we're awaiting the guys to return from injury," Black further said.

He then bared that the Meralco management will sit down very soon to discuss what's next for the now 1-4 Bolts, especially O'Bryant, who is averaging 25.2 points, 16.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steal, and 0.6 blocks a night five games in.

"I have to talk to Paolo (Trillo, Meralco's team manager). We've actually been talking about it," Black said.

However, the Bolts' management might only have a short time to ponder O'Bryant's fate as they will play again on Saturday night against the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters also at the PhilSports Arena.

"Let's see what happens. We have a game on Saturday, so I'm not sure how much we can do between now and then," Black further said.

For now, the grand slam-winning coach will talk to O'Bryant to reiterate his role to the team.

"Certainly, I have to sit down with Johnny to make him understand that he's got to raise the level of his performance because he's an import and a lot more is expected for an import," Black further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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