Meralco coach Norman Black is excited to have big men Nonoy Baclao and Jammer Jamito back for the 46th PBA season which is being eyed to start in April.
Baclao and Jamito each signed a fresh one-year contract with the Bolts on Monday.
“I’m very happy to have them back with the Meralco team this year. Jammer and Noy give us the size on the defensive end of the court needed to be competitive in the PBA,” Black told the Manila Bulletin.
The 30-year-old Jamito proved to be a great back-up for Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge at the frontcourt as he posted averages of 5.0 points and 3.89 rebounds in over 12 minutes of play off the bench during the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble where Meralco made a historic feat.
The Bolts achieved their first semifinal finish in the all-Filipino conference in franchise history after dethroning the San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Barangay Ginebra in five games.
For his part, Baclao, an offseason acquisition from last year, missed the bubble season as he was still recovering from the surgery he underwent for his ruptured right patellar tendon.
Now that the 33-year-old Baclao is cleared to play again, Black cannot wait to reunite with his former Ateneo player.
“I’m especially pleased to have a chance to team up with Noy again who I coached at Ateneo in the UAAP,” said the grand slam-winning mentor, who shared the first two titles in the Blue Eagles’ five-peat with Baclao in 2008 and 2009.
Black added that the Bolts are looking at other offseason moves especially roster additions, though he is leaving that up to team manager Paolo Trillo.
“Nobody in particular but I’m sure Paolo Trillo is actively looking for players who can help improve our talent level.”
Black also said that they are planning to begin their training for the next PBA season at the start of February.