08 September 2010

Marlou Inks a New Contract

Marlou Aquino
Marlou Aquino will be among the old warriors who will continue to pound the PBA hard court in its coming 36th season.

The 6-foot-9 behemoth got an extended duty in the pro league, signed to a one-conference contract by the Meralco Bolts B-Boys.

Aquino will already be 39 when he plays his 14th PBA season, taking his sneakers to Meralco after playing four years with Ginebra and nine years with Sta. Lucia Realty.

"Pwede pang humaba ang career nya. But it depends on him. Kung magpupursigi sya sa ensayo at sa laro, surely we have a spot open for him," said Virgil Villavicencio.

Aquino was the fourth oldest among all players who strutted their stuff in the PBA last campaign. The oldest was Johnny Abarrientos, followed by Olsen Racela, Jeffrey Cariaso, then Aquino.

Abarrientos already serves as skills coach at Barangay Ginebra. It's uncertain whether he would still be tapped for some action in the coming PBA wars.

Cariaso has called it quits while Racela wants to play at least until the end of the year to be only the fifth PBA player still in active duty at 40 or above. The first four players to achieve such a feat were Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben and Yoyoy Villamin.

"Baka abutin din ni Marlou yan. But it really depends on him. Right now, he’s very enthusiastic," said Villavicencio.

Aquino, the first overall pick by Gordon’s Gin (now Ginebra) in 1996 who went on to become the season’s Best Rookie, is turning 39 next month.

"Coach Ryan Gregorio has talked to Marlou. They have high respect for one another. Marlou has been advised of the role he’ll play in the team," Villavicencio said.

Marlou will be the elder statesman in the team teeming with young talents including rookies Bam Gamalinda, Ford Arao, Kazim Mirza and Sean Weinstein.

Gamalinda, Arao, Mirza have signed one-year pacts. Weinstein, the No. 10 pick, gets a longer tenure of two years in his contract he's set to sign Monday.

"I think we've formed a fighting team. We'll be there fighting in each game," said Villavicencio of the Meralco squad built around former Talk n Text top gun Macmac Cardona.

Beau Belga, Gabby Espinas and Dennis Daa will be the other players tending the Meralco frontcourt.

Chris Ross, Pong Escobal and Weinstein rotate at the point, Cardona and Ogie Menor man the off-guard spot while Yousif Aljamal and Bitoy Omolon alternate at small forward position.

Meralco gets to test its mettle as it plays the Singapore Slingers in a tune-up game in Singapore on 14 September.

The B-Boys face the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the opener of the 36th PBA season on 3 October at the Araneta Coliseum.

Looking at the team rosters, Gregorio ranks his team sixth behind San Miguel Beer, Talk n Text, B-MEG Derby Ace, Barangay Ginebra and Alaska Milk.

Sta. Lucia, the team taken over by Meralco, was eighth placer in the last Philippine Cup and sixth placer in the last Fiesta Conference. (SB)

1 comment:

  1. Grabe. When I was still avidly watching the PBA, sila pa yung mga young players. i remember being in highschool, and being so kilig nung nakatabi ko sa pila sa McDo si Cariaso! haha :)