MIKE Miranda and Nico Elorde have been gifted with contract extensions in the PBA.
The vastly improved Miranda was given a two-year contract extension by NLEX after the former San Sebastian big man proved to be a revelation in his first year with the team under coach Yeng Guiao.
A second round pick (21st overall) by Barako Bull (now Phoenix) in the 2015 draft, Miranda became one of the Road Warriors' top defensive stoppers at the post who also improved his shooting from three-point range upon the prodding of Guiao.
Together with NLEX's young core of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas and veterans Larry Fonacier, JR Quinahan, and Alex Mallari, Miranda helped the team reach the semifinals for the first time in franchise history during the Philippine Cup.
"Because of his good showing in the Philippine Cup, we awarded him an extension," said NLEX executive Ronald Dulatre. "Basically until 2020 na ang contract niya with NLEX."
Elorde, grandson of the late boxing great Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde, also inked a two-year deal with NorthPort after proving himself as an able back-up to star player Stanley Pringle.
Many expected the Batang Pier to implode following the trade of prolific shooting guard Terrence Romeo to TnT Katropa early this season.
But Elorde stepped up and filled the huge void left behind by Romeo as the Batang Pier surprisingly made the playoffs of the Commissioner's Cup and came a win short of completing an upset against twice-to-beat top seed Rain or Shine.
The 26-year-old Elorde was selected at No. 33 (third round) by the Alaska Aces in the 2015 draft.
Terms of the deal for both Miranda and Elorde were not made available.
Another player, Paolo Taha, was also given a two-year contract by NorthPort as the team continued to stay true to its principle of building a core of young, quick, and athletic players.
Taha was acquired just last conference by the Batang Pier in a trade with Barangay Ginebra for rookie Julian Sargent.
The trade was a homecoming for the wingman out of St. Benilde as Taha began his pro career with the Batang Pier, who selected him in the third round (29th overall) of the 2014 draft.