Alvin Pasaol has set the bar high for himself going into his rookie season for Meralco in the PBA.
The former UE Red Warriors star put winning a championship at the top of his rookie goals as the Bolts seek to end their PBA title drought after multiple playoff and finals appearances.
Since joining the PBA in 2010, Meralco reached the finals thrice but fell short of the grand prize in all occasions.
The Bolts almost made the championship round in the Philippine Cup last season only to get the boot again from Barangay Ginebra, no thanks to a buzzer-beater in their semifinals rubber match.
“My expectations for myself is to win more games in the PBA, reach the finals, and of course, win a championship with Meralco,” the burly forward told Rappler in Filipino.
Pasaol knows the Bolts have high expectations for him, especially since they used their No. 9 selection on him.
Considering it lost veteran center Brian Faundo in a trade for Mac Belo in the offseason, Meralco could have gone a different direction, with big men Troy Rike and Ken Holmqvist still available in the draft.
“I will prove myself on the court so that people will not question why Meralco picked me or if I’m worthy to be a part of Meralco,” Pasaol said.
A department where the 6-foot-2 standout from Davao is expected to make his presence felt is scoring, with Meralco ranking second to last in points per game in the Philippine Cup last season.
Pasaol gained national attention after waxing hot for 49 points in UAAP Season 80 against eventual finalist La Salle Green Archers.
He brought his scoring savvy to the 3×3 basketball scene, where he is the No. 2 ranked Filipino player, and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, where he normed 15.9 points and 4.9 rebounds for Zamboanga.
“They have high expectations for me to contribute to the team. I will exceed those expectations and do my best for Meralco to win,” Pasaol said.
Although known more as a scorer, Pasaol is also willing to get his hands dirty on the less glamorous end of the court.
“Team defense is important to us. We need to play defense so that we can win a lot of games. Meralco is more of a defensive team.” – Rappler.com