Filoil Preseason: Kean Baclaan slowly shaping up to be NU’s leader
MANILA, Philippines—National University may have found its new leader on the floor heading into UAAP Season 86.
While he already established himself as a scorer last season, Kean Baclaan is slowly being given the role of court leader, coach Jeff Napa said after their 82-79 victory over St. Clare in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.
“I’m leaving it up to them to play and decide on the court. Still, there were mistakes but it’s a good thing the leadership showed and most importantly, he stepped up,” Napa said in Filipino at San Juan Arena on Sunday.
Baclaan’s leadership showed in the dying minutes of the game when the score was tied at 79.
With time winding down, Baclaan kept a hold of the rock before throwing up the game-winning three point basket which sealed the deal for the Bulldogs.
KEAN FOR THE WIN
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) June 4, 2023
Baclaan finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with three assists and a steal.
The 5-foot-8 guard also played efficiently for the Bulldogs, shooting a hot clip of 46.7 percent (7-of-15), all while sinking three triples.
For Baclaan, it was all just a matter of bouncing back from his mistakes on the floor.
“I just want to be able to show something. I keep telling myself, I’ll bounce back; it may not be on defense but I’ll do it on offense,” the shifty guard said in Filipino.
“Coach Jeff’s trust with me is huge. He leaves me to play my own way but if he sees something wrong, he would really sermon us.”