TALK 'N Text coach Norman Black is glad to have a "talented, athletic player" in KG Canaleta, saying the new Texters recruit can be a big boost to the ballclub both for the short and long term.
Canaleta was acquired by Talk 'N Text just before the trade deadline from Air21 for Sean Anthony, rookie Eliud Poligrates, and a 2016 first-round pick, giving the reigning PBA Philippine Cup champions an extra offensive weapon in time for the playoffs.
"It's a little bit of both, I hope," said the grand slam-winning coach when asked if the 6-6 Canaleta is a band-aid solution to the Texters' offensive woes in the all-Filipino tournament or an integral piece in the PLDT ballclub's future plans.
"We wanted to bring him in now, so we can get an additional weapon in the playoffs," added Black. "But at the same time, he's a talented player, very athletic. He's a good addition to the team."
They Said It!
“We wanted to bring (KG Canaleta) in now, so we can get an additional weapon in the playoffs." - Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black
At least on paper, the former University of the East Warrior seemed a perfect fit for a Texters team loaded with versatile players like him who can play multiple positions in the frontline like Kelly Williams, Danny Seigle and Ranidel de Ocampo.
"He's more of a stretch 4," said Black of his new recruit. "He's got the perimeter game to stretch the defense but at the same time he has enough athleticism to get to the basket."
Now Black's immediate goal is to break Canaleta into his system with the limited time he has before the reigning three-time champions begin their best-of-three quarterfinal series against San Mig.
The multi-titled coach said he is careful not to make the transition more complicated than it already is for Canaleta, keeping things simple as he eases him into his rotation.
"He has played with some of our players before like Ranidel," said Black. "But we don't want to load his head with too many plays or too many defensive schemes. We'll just try to keep things simple and see how he goes."
However, Black is confident Canaleta can adopt.
"Air21 may not be winning a lot of games, but it is well-coached. Franz Pumaren runs a lot of plays, so KG is used to having all those plays and he knows how to play the correct defense," he said.
Can Canaleta be a factor in the playoffs, he was asked.
"That remains to be seen," said Black.