Former top overall pick Noy Baclao has seen his minutes dwindle at talent-laden Petron, but his potential still draws interest around the league.
The Air 21 Express have emerged as the most ardent suitors for his services.
“He’s one of those whom we would like to get,” said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren, who has been in constant communications with team executive Lito Alvarez who is in Macau for the annual planning session of the PBA Board of Governors.
Pumaren sees a lot of upside in Baclao’s game.
“People see him as a defensive specialist, but I would like to turn him into an offensive-minded player and I think he has the potential,” added Pumaren. “He has played second fiddle to Rabeh Al-Hussaini in Ateneo, but I think if he will be more involved in offense, he can produce.”
Acquiring Baclao, according to Pumaren, means they will fill in the huge hole at the middle, a problem for the team last season.
“We’re not only paling in comparison when it comes to talent, we’re also a small team, so by getting Baclao, at least it would improve our frontline,” said Pumaren.
Aside from Baclao, two more players are on his wish list, but Pumaren didn’t reveal their identities, preferring to wait until a deal has been sealed.
“We would like to add a steady point guard who can give direction to the team and another scorer, somebody who could help out Zach Graham once we bring him back for the third conference,” he added.
Graham will play for the Express anew in the season-ending Governors’ Cup where a 6-foot-5 height limit will be implemented.
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