Chris Lutz looking at May return with Bolts
by rick olivares
If you look at basketball player Chris Lutz, his current lean form closely resembles his frame when he came to the Philippines in 2009 to suit up for Rajko Toroman and Smart Gilas. He put on a semi-chiseled form while suiting up for San Miguel Beer. And although the former Marshall University captain felt stronger, he felt a bit slower.
“Aside from that, I became more injury prone,” said Lutz who was taking in the practice of the Meralco Bolts, his new team after signing with them last January. “But that’s more circumstantial than anything. I think it is because the way I play where I go a hundred miles an hour in everything. Nothing wrong about that but it also pays to be careful.”
“Careful in the sense of pacing myself, eating right, adapting my game instead of recklessly throwing myself at all the bigger defenders… it’s changing the way I approach the game as I am not a young man anymore,” said Lutz. “I hope to put on a few more pounds – somewhere in the realm of 180 pounds or a bit more so I’m not too thin.”
According to Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo, Lutz’ estimated time of return to active duty is anywhere from late April to early May.
“I think our pick up of Lutz is a big one because we practically got him for nothing,” said Trillo during the Bolts’ Tuesday practice, March 14. “If he can find his game again, maybe approximate it, then he will help our three position where we have JD (Jared Dillinger). That gives us flexibility and allows other players like Cliff Hodge and Jonathan Grey to return to their natural positions. Furthermore, when Jonathan and Ed Daquioag are called up to national team duty as they are with the cadet program then we’re still fine.”
Lutz enthused he was elated to be with the Bolts. “When I was with SMB, we knew we were always in for a tough game when we played Meralco. They might not have a star-studded line-up like others but they always played hard and were tough to play. Now being on this side, I appreciate what I see in practice and it’s no wonder they play this way. I’m grateful for Meralco, Coach Norman (Black), and Boss Paolo for giving me a chance to play. And I’m just looking forward to helping them win the big one. And of course, coming back healthy.”
When asked about facing long time Gilas and PBA teammate Marcio Lassiter who he has played alongside with since 2009, Lutz says he’s not talked to his friend about it. “We’ll get around to it. It should be fun. But hopefully, one day, we’ll be teammates again.”