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Jun 10, 2019

Coach Norman Black to Gani Lawal: 'Get your teammates involved'

Gani Lawal is a perfect fit for Meralco. He is a consistent high scorer and a monster rebounder.

Norman had no problem with that.

But as good as his numbers are, Black pointed out that Lawal can't get the job done all by himself.

"Gani's been productive but at the same time he has to do a better job making his teammates better," said Black after the Bolts 93-89 loss to Alaska on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Lawal had 27 points and 26 rebounds in the game but a visibly concerned Black noted that his import had only one assist while committing eight turnovers as Meralco fell to 3-3 (win-loss) record.

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"I think eight turnovers are way too many and I think he's averaging almost six a game. For me, those are areas where he has to improve as an import," added Black.

The stat sheet shows that Lawal is averaging 28.5 points and 22.0 rebounds per game but posted only 1.3 assists and has the highest turnover average among imports with 5.2 a game.

"While he does get his points and rebounds, he has to focus more on how to make his teammates better either through setting screens or making sure that when he's double-teamed, he gives up the basketball efficiently," Black said.

Another team concern according Black is the lack of local support.

"That's really been my concern so far this conference," Black said. "It seems that when the locals are involved on the offense then we do a lot better. When the offense is a little bit stagnant, then we struggled.

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"We need better ball movement if we want to win. If we move the basketball, we won games. When we go a little bit one-on-one oriented then we lost. So I'm preaching it everyday and I'm just hoping that it sticks to the players' mind every game so we get a chance to win." (JT)