Blackwater is solely focused on what Kelly Nabong can do for the team instead of his past offenses in the league.
The Bossing just signed the volatile Fil-Am to a 6-month contract which commences next month and head coach Nash Racela is confident that Nabong’s addition will work wonders for the Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise.
“He is known for his toughness. That’s something that we look forward to,” said Racela.
“He has developed his offense the last couple of years. Mas marami na siyang kayang gawin. Inside, outside, face basket, back-to-the-basket. ‘Yun din ang madadala niya sa amin.” added the former TNT Tropang Giga mentor.
Controversies have always followed Nabong ever since he broke into the league as the 17th overall pick in the 2012 rookie draft. Among the most newsworthy is his involvement in a practice brawl which transpired when he was still with San Miguel. He was slapped with an indefinite suspension by team management and subsequently traded to NorthPort for Russel Escoto.
During the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga, Nabong was back in the headlines after he was slapped with a P50,000 fine after a flagrant foul on former teammate Arwind Santos.
While Racela is fully aware of Nabong’s transgressions, he believes that the ill-tempered forward will not jeopardize his ‘new beginning’ with the Bossing.
“Two ways. Knowing his past, I think it will also require us coaches managing him. Siyempre, there will be adjustments on our part. There will be adjustments on his part also. Hindi naman ito one-on-one eh. It becomes a team game,” said Racela. “I think he is willing to adjust which is a good sign.”
One thing going for Blackwater is that Nabong was once part of the team when he was still in the PBA D-League.
“Part na rin siya ng Blackwater before. Kahit papano, there is already a relationship with Boss Deo and Boss Deo would want to give him a clean slate. History is history. Past is past. But we look forward to him contributing in a lot of ways,” said Racela.