Blackwater signs Nabong to short-term deal

Published March 25, 2021, 6:56 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Blackwater is taking a chance at Kelly Nabong despite the troubles that hounded the temperamental big man throughout his PBA career.

The Bossing are signing Nabong to a short-term contract, returning to the team he had played during his time in the PBA D-League from 2011 to 2012.

Nabong joins Blackwater after NorthPort opted not to re-sign him despite averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 11 games of last season’s PBA Philippine Cup bubble.

Temper issues have affected Nabong’s reputation, particularly in recent stops with Meralco, San Miguel Beer and NorthPort.

Meralco opted to sit out Nabong for the remainder of the 2017 Governors’ Cup playoffs after figuring in a heated exchange with then-assistant coach Jimmy Alapag during a timeout.

Nabong’s tenure with SMB ended when he figured in a practice fight in 2019 which also involved import Dez Wells, Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid.

He was also fined P5,000 by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial at the end of NorthPort’s campaign in the bubble for committing a Flagrant Foul 1 on Santos during a match against SMB.

But Nabong could be what the doctor ordered if he can provide the positives like rebounding, physicality and scoring, attributes which have been seen since he entered the league in 2012.

Blackwater is Nabong’s fourth PBA team after stints with Meralco (twice), SMB and GlobalPort/NorthPort (thrice).