DON Allado’s transfer to Meralco has paved the way for a reunion with coach Ryan Gregorio while signaling a new beginning in the veteran big man's 14-year career.
“I’m not really surprised (with the trade) but it’s good timing for me because that team (Meralco) needs my service. So I found myself in a better world there,” Allado told Spin.ph a day after Barako Bull, his team for the past two seasons, dealt him to the Bolts in a three-team trade.
Under the three-team deal that was approved by the PBA Commissioner’s Office on Monday, Talk ‘N Text acquired Sean Anthony in exchange for Jared Dillinger, who in turn was packaged by Barako Bull with Allado and shipped to Meralco for Ronjay Buenafe and seldom-used Gilbert Bulawan.
Allado played for Gregorio back when he was still coaching Purefoods during the 2009 PBA season. The former La Salle star played an off-the-bench role the following season and helped Purefoods win the 2010 Philippine Cup championship via a 4-0 Finals sweep of the Alaska Aces.
Allado's arrival should be most welcome for Gregorio, who has long been looking for a veteran inside presence since Asi Taulava bolted the team to join the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League.
“We just talked recently about the team trying to rebuild. We’re both working with each other again. So he (Gregorio) just asked me how I was. So I just said I’ve been doing little therapy and working out in the offseason,” said Allado.
Allado averaged 7.06 points and 4.4 rebounds in four conferences with the Energy Cola in a stint interrupted for one conference after he was banned by the PBA for a tweet insinuating that pro league games are "fixed."
His playing time, however, diminished after his return, playing in just eight games for Barako Bull in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The former big man out of La Salle said he’s ready to take on whatever role as the Bolts try to make it to the PBA Finals for the first time since joining the pro league in 2010 season.
He also looks forward to being a mentor to his young teammates.
“It’s another challenge for me. I know I’ll be playing a different role. But I’ve always been in good condition. I’m also very excited with my new team because it has a lot of good role players,” he said.
“I can bring my leadership and championship experience to the team. Hopefully, I could also contribute in mentoring these younger players,” added Allado, who turned 36 on Monday.