SOL Mercado is definitely looking forward to play in the 2021 PBA season if the chance comes, confident that he still has what it takes to provide a positive influence to a team that obtains his services.
One of the prominent free agents in the market, the 36-year-old Mercado said he is still waiting for opportunities to come his way, having not played since he suited up for NorthPort in 2019.
“I haven’t had any offers up to date but I would definitely take the opportunity when it comes,” said Mercado in an online message to SPIN.ph.
Mercado, known for his all-around play, last suited up for NorthPort two years ago, before being traded by the ballclub to Phoenix early in 2020 in exchange of LA Revilla and Rey Guevarra. But Mercado was left unsigned by the Fuel Masters, and has been a free agent ever since.
The Biola product was also spotted practicing with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas shortly after being released by Phoenix, but that possibility of being part of the line-up didn’t prosper after the ABL season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mercado, a three-time PBA champion with Barangay Ginebra, said he is definitely not yet hanging his sneakers although he admitted having pondered about it before.
“I know I still have a lot left to offer to the game and the younger generation,” said Mercado, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Mercado also said he has been constantly working out despite being away from competitive basketball especially before the enhanced community quarantine was declared.
Mercado has also been spending time with former Barangay Ginebra teammate Joe Devance being his neighbor. He has been seen in Devance’s vlogs among with some of his former teammates including Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.
“Yes, I still workout every day... Joe and I are neighbors so we hang out and work out everyday together and before ECQ, the guys would come over to hang out. Right now, we just stay in to stay safe,” said Mercado.