Nonoy Baclao plays best Alaska game exactly 8 years since draft
MANILA, Philippines – Exactly eight years since he was tabbed as the PBA's top overall pick, Nonoy Baclao showed flashes of the form that made him the No. 1 recruit.
Baclao finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists to provide the huge boost Alaska needed to topple Phoenix, 108-97, and remain undefeated in the 2018 Governors' Cup on Wednesday, August 29.
It was the 6-foot-5 slotman's best performance in an Aces uniform, and incidentally, it came on the same day he was nabbed by Air21 as the No. 1 pick in the 2010 PBA Draft.
"Tagal noon ah. Sana tuloy tuloy lang. Sipag lang siguro 'yun," Baclao told reporters after the game. "Eight years na pala 'yun."
(That's a long time. I hope this continues. I just need to work hard. I never thought it's already been eight years.)
Through those eight years, the former Ateneo de Manila University standout has now played for five teams.
After spending his rookie year with the Express, Baclao bounced around the league.
He was traded to Petron (now San Miguel), returned to Air21, played one year each for TNT and GlobalPort (now NorthPort) before finding his home in Alaska, where he has played for three seasons.
"Nakakatuwa na nakaabot ako ng eight years na hindi masyadong nagamit. As of now siguro, kailangan ko pa magpursige. May family na rin ako," Baclao added.
(It's a joy that I reached eight years even though I am seldomly used. As of now, I just need to work hard. I have a family to support.)
In Alaska's first three games this conference – which have all ended in rousing wins, Baclao is averaging 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 assists in 21 minutes of action.
For Baclao, it was just about returning the trust the team is giving him.
"Just continue. Keep moving forward. Just keep doing kung ano kailangan gawin kasi sa team na 'to bibigyan ka talaga ng kumpiyansa."
(Just continue. Keep moving forward. Just keep doing what I need to do because in this team, everybody will give you confidence.)
Contributions from Baclao will be welcome when the Aces face reigning two-time Governors' Cup champion Barangay Ginebra on September 5 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com