IN a draft full of shockers, Meralco made sure it got in the party as it pulled off a stunner with the selection of Trevis Jackson at fifth overall in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
It's not that the Fil-Am guard isn't worthy of his spot, but rather, the circumstances the Bolts were in to take such bold of a move.
Everybody expected Meralco to take a look at the bigs as its frontcourt has been a constant problem for the team in all-Filipino conferences for the longest time.
That's why when the Bolts chose Jackson over guys like Abu Tratter or Javee Mocon at five, the selection truly dropped a lot of jaws.
Coach Norman Black, though, defended the decision seeing the pedigree of the available big men in the 47-man rookie field.
"We really felt that the bigs in the draft we're not much better than what we have already. If you don't think you'll bring in people who can bring in a huge difference immediately, then you want to make sure you get the best available players, and that's what we did today," he said.
That's why for Black, it's a no brainer for him to take "the best available talent," which in this case, was Jackson.
The multi-titled mentor also believes that Jackson's arrival addresses another pressing need for Meralco, which is to push the pace on offense.
"We took into consideration the last few years, we're in the top three on defense in the PBA but offensively, our pace is quite slow," he said.
"We think Trevis brings a lot of speed. He's a good point guard in terms of facilitating for others and we just want to pick the pace a little bit faster and score a little bit more points."
Jackson is just eager to prove Black he made the right decision in picking him.
"It's an honor to have coach Norman as my coach. I'm ecstatic to be playing for him and their organization and I'm thankful he picked me and I'm ready to go," the 23-year-old playmaker said.
"No pressure. I just play the game I've loved since day one, that's the only way I see it. This is what I wanted to do and this is what I've chosen to do and I'm gonna keep going."
It seems Jackson knew from the moment he worked out with Meralco in the buildup to the draft that the Bolts are one of the teams he'd like to go to.
"I loved my workout with them and just the atmosphere at that gym. It made me excited to play basketball," he admitted.
Almost a week later and it's a sure thing that he'll be back at the Meralco Gym.
"I'm just extremely blessed and thankful. I feel as if my dedication and hard work to the game has paid off," said Jackson, who gets a chance to join one of the teams his "superhero" Sol Mercado played in. "I'm so happy to go there and get ready to work."