Depleted Bolts get boost from Canaleta, new additions | Inquirer Sports

Depleted Bolts get boost from Canaleta, new additions

/ 05:41 PM December 23, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

No Ranidel de Ocampo meant no problem for Meralco when it made its season debut on Friday against Blackwater.

Without the 36-year-old gunner as well as hardworking Cliff Hodge, the Bolts held their own to beat the Elite, 103-98, and start their campaign in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup on a high.

And for de Ocampo, a huge chunk of the credit should be given to Meralco’s offseason acquisitions.

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“The reason why KG (Cañaleta), (Mac) Baracael, and Jason Ballesteros are there is to help us. Everyone here help each other and I believe they are good additions for us,” he said as he watched his team start the all-Filipino conference with a victory for the first time in three years.

Cañaleta made his former team pay for letting him go, firing on all cylinders and drilling five treys to finish with a game-high 25 points. Baracael and Ballesteros also contributed and blended perfectly with holdovers Jared Dillinger, Reynel Hugnatan, and Bryan Faundo upfront.

Those performances just make de Ocampo more excited to return to the court as he recovers from an injury he incurred in Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals as he targets the next month as his return to the hardcourt.

“I’m still not 100 percent, but I can feel that it’s slowly healing. I can force it now and I have moved past its limit. I’m trying to stretch the scar tissue so that I can know if it can endure the tough movements. I think I can play in January,” he said.

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“We can’t deny that we’re a stronger team. But all of the teams have also improved, so we’ll find a way,” he said. “I know that once I return, we’ll be ready to contend for the title.”

Meralco faces defending champion San Miguel next on December 27 at Ynares Center in Antipolo.

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TAGS: Meralco Bolts, PBA Philippine Cup, Ranidel De Ocampo

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