UAAP Basketball

Kean Baclaan eager to prove worth to NU, puts UST transfer in rearview mirror

JR Isaga
Kean Baclaan eager to prove worth to NU, puts UST transfer in rearview mirror

YOUNG STARTER. NU rookie guard Kean Baclaan sizes up the UE defense.

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

Using the noise from his controversial transfer from UST as fuel, NU top rookie Kean Baclaan displays fine form as a two-way guard in his UAAP seniors division debut

MANILA, Philippines – Kean Baclaan, one of the most highly anticipated rookies this UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, had himself a satisfactory seniors division debut on Sunday, October 2, as he helped the NU Bulldogs edge the UE Red Warriors, 77-70.

Only two months removed from his shock transfer from the UST Growling Tigers, the 19-year-old playmaker got the starting nod in his very first collegiate game, and scattered 8 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Although NU fended off UE after a pivotal fourth-quarter charge, Baclaan was far from satisfied with his outing, especially after all the buzz generated with his controversial last-minute transfer.

“I’m really happy because this is my dream, but we didn’t quite have the game we wanted. This is a lesson learned for us to improve as a team and as individuals,” he said in Filipino.

“Given all the things people have been saying, of course for me, I just want to show off what I can do with my game. As for me, I’m still adjusting in NU, and I haven’t even been here for two months. Maybe I just need to tweak my defense further.”

Bulldogs head coach Jeff Napa likewise said he wanted more, not just from Baclaan, but from every other cog in his star-less, yet deep rotation.

“Kean is new, still adjusting to what we’re running here. Maybe there’s an overeagerness factor and that need to show off,” he said in Filipino. “He’s hearing a lot of things about him, so he’s getting overeager. Thankfully, the first game is done and the kid has relaxed.”

Heading into a huge challenge on Wednesday, October 5, against mighty Ateneo, Baclaan and Napa are hoping to patch up these glaring weaknesses quickly, and possibly give the Blue Eagles another scare like the season prior, or perhaps a successful upset this time around.

“We have a lot to work on. Tomorrow, it’s back to the drawing board,” Napa said. “We will review what else are our lapses, especially on Wednesday with such a tough opponent. We can’t be caught asleep.” –

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