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    Meralco thrilled to see frontline get an upgrade with Almazan-Baclao pair

    Apr 24, 2020

    EXCITING times lie ahead for Meralco after the acquisition of a second big man over the past few months.

    The Bolts signed Noy Baclao to a free-agent deal after his contract with Alaska expired, giving the PBA ballclub a second big man to a frontline that last season got a major upgrade following the acquisition of Raymond Almazan.

    Both Baclao and Almazan are rehabbing at the moment.

    Baclao ruptured his right patellar tendon during the Governors’ Cup while with Alaska last year. Almazan is in the same boat after suffering a knee injury during Meralco's finals series against Ginebra in the Governors’ Cup.

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    Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo can't to see the two pair up.

    “Kailangan namin sa all-Filipino ng bigs,” said Trillo. “I’m looking forward to the tandem and having those two guys playing at the same time. They will really give us some length and interior presence.”

    Trillo is no stranger to Baclao as he was the team manager of Ateneo when Baclao and the Blue Eagles dominated in the UAAP with current Meralco coach Norman Black calling the shots.

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    Baclao averaged 3.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in only 21 games with the Aces in 2019, but it’s the intangibles that he can bring to the table that excites Trillo.

    Trillo said Baclao continues to undergo rehabilitation on his knee although there is no time table for his return due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that remains enforced on Luzon island.

    “He wasn’t going to play in the first conference although now with the ECQ, he is continuing his therapy. Pero iba pa rin ‘yung day-to-day na tutok sa kanya sa therapy. But he is recovering. He is doing all his exercises at home,” said Trillo.

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      Almazan is also undergoing therapy for a meniscal tear in his left knee during Game Three of the Governors’ Cup finals against Barangay Ginebra.

      “Tinututukan din namin siya. May progam ‘yan sa therapy niya but again, iba pa rin ‘yung day-to-day (monitoring in person),” said Trillo.

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