AFTER good friend Scottie Thompson, can Aljon Mariano be far behind?
The 28-year-old Mariano will be back with Barangay Ginebra for the PBA 46th season after renewing his contract with the league’s most popular ballclub.
No details of the deal were made available other than the 6-foot-3 wingman expressing how grateful he is on the blessing given him by the franchise.
Mariano posted a foto of him smiling along with SMC Sports Director and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua.
“Isang tagay para sa napakalaking tagumpay at biyaya!,” said Mariano in his caption. “Maraming salamat boss @alfrancischua at boss RSA! Salamat Ginebra!.”
Mariano’s signing came hours after Thompson – Mariano’s close pal – was also renewed by the Kings to a new lucrative contract.
A second round pick (No. 16 overall) of the team in the 2015 draft, the former University of Santo Tomas stalwart has won five championships in his five year stay with the franchise like Thompson.
His value with the team was none more prominent than during the Philippine Cup bubble last year when he played his best season with the Kings.
Mariano was a solid contributor off the bench, averaging 9.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in helping the Kings win the all-Filipino Cup for the first time in 13 years.
“Aljon came into the bubble in great shape. Nung time na Japeth (Aguilar) and Joe (Devance) were not in shape yet, sila (Prince Caperal) an nag-fill ng void,” recalled Ginebra deputy Richard Del Rosario.
“Got to give credit to AJ, di kami aabot (sa championship) kung di dahil sa players na gaya niya.”