UNTIL Meralco plucked him out from the free agent market, KG Canaleta was contemplating on taking his act to Thailand and start what could be another chapter in his pro career.
Just that he couldn't bear being away from his loved ones.
"Hindi ko na rin naisip mag-abroad. Sa akin, PBA pa rin. Mas maganda pa rin na nandito ako, hindi nalalayo sa pamilya ko," said the 35-year-old forward.
Given another chance by Meralco, Canaleta made the most out of the opportunity as he fired a game-high 25 points and helped steer Meralco to a 103-98 win over Blackwater on Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome.
The product of University of the East star scored 10 points in the final period alone, including five straight in the waning minutes of the match. His three-pointer off the glass as the shotclock was winding down stretched a shaky Meralco lead to 98-92.
Until that bailout shot, the Bolts appeared on the verge of an endgame collapse as the Elite managed to threaten at 95-92 after trailing by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter.
That his fiery explosion came against his former team was just all coincidence.
"Nagpaalam naman ako sa kanila ng maayos," said Canaleta. "Ok naman sa kanila. Para sa akin din naman daw. Sabi nga nila baka may mas magandang opportunity sa akin sa ibang teams."
In fairness to Blackwater, Canaleta said there was a negotiation between the two parties when his contract expired.
"May offer naman sila sa akin. Di lang talaga kami nagkaayos," he disclosed
That's when he and his agent Danny Espiritu considered an offer to play in Thailand. But in the end, home is where the heart is for the former slamdunk champion.
"Pinilit kong makabalik at manatili sa PBA, " he said.