Jan 12, 2021

Baclao grateful to Meralco, hopes to repay team with a championship

Veteran forward Noy Baclao is eager to repay the Meralco Bolts for their trust as he makes his comeback from more than a year of layoff.

Baclao was sidelined by a ruptured patellar tendon while playing for Alaska in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup and was relegated to the unrestricted free agent list after his contract expired that year.

But Meralco picked him up in April 2020 while undergoing rehab and signed him to a fresh one-year deal last Monday.

"I'm so grateful for the offer of Meralco. Sobrang nagpapasalamat talaga ako not just me pero buong pamilya ko nung injured ako kahit hindi pa ako naglalaro sa kanila," he said.

"Hopefully, I can repay them sa pagbabalik ko sa paglalaro at makapag-champion para sa franchise," he added.

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The 6-foot-4 former Ateneo star, who reunites with coach Norman Black and team manager Paolo Trillo, is expected to boost the Bolts' frontline for the Season 46 hostilities.

"Everyone knows he's coming back from injury and we're happy he's recovering well. We expect him to come in and play a role for us, especially defensively," said Trillo."Being a veteran, hopefully, he can help us with an inside presence."

Baclao, according to Black, could have been a big help had he recovered in time for the Philippine Cup bubble, where the Bolts lost a five-game semifinal heartbreaker to eventual champs Barangay Ginebra.

"He would have helped a great deal being able to guard (Ginebra bigs) Japeth (Aguilar) and (Prince) Caperal and he's a very intelligent player defensively. So I'm looking forward to his addition (in 2021)," said Black. (OL)