Baclao hopes to repay Meralco with title after contract renewal

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Noy Baclao

Noy Baclao during his stint with Alaska. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

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MANILA, Philippines — Noy Baclao was still in the early stages of his recovery from a severe knee injury when Meralco picked him up in free agency last April.

Baclao, who ruptured his patellar tendon in the 2019 Governors’ Cup while he was still playing for Alaska, missed the Bolts’ campaign in the Philippine Cup bubble last season, and yet the team still signed him to a one-year deal on Monday.

Expected to finally suit up for Meralco in the coming season, the veteran big man hopes to finally repay the Bolts’ faith in him.

“I’m so grateful for the offer of Meralco even though at that time I was still injured and not able to play for them. I’m so thankful and my whole family,” Baclao said in a story on the PBA website.

“Hopefully, I can repay them when I come back and win a championship for the franchise.”

The 6-foot-5 Baclao is known for his interior defense, an area of the game where Meralco could definitely use some help.

“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 Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo.”Being a veteran, hopefully, he can help us with an inside presence.”

Baclao, 33, would’ve been serviceable for the Bolts during their semifinals run last season where they lost to eventual champions Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in five games.

“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 Meralco head coach Norman Black.


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