March 17 ------ MERALCO just completed its 15-man roster just before the PBA decided to call off momentarily its 45th season owing to the worsening case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country. The Bolts signed up rookie draftees Aaron Black and Michael Canete to fill in the two remaining spots in their lineup for the season-opening Philippine Cup. Team manager Paolo Trillo disclosed the two were signed to a one-year deal each on Tuesday last week, or a day before the league decided to shut down the young season in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Black, son of Meralco coach Norman Black, was picked in second round (18th overall) in last year’s draft, while Canete was a third-round selection at No. 29. The deal made the Blacks the first father and son to be together under one franchise since former MVP and coach Ato Agustin handled rookie son Marc Agustin at Petron during the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup. Earlier, the great Robert Jaworski Sr. and his namesake Dudut Jaworski became the first father-and-son tandem to do so with Ginebra San Miguel during the 90s, winning a championship together during the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup.
Black also made it to the history books with stepson Chris Tan, with whom he won a title with Sta. Lucia Realty in the 2001 Governors Cup. Tan’s clutch three-pointer in the final three seconds of Game 6 clinched for the Realtors their first ever PBA crown. Incidentally, Tan is now also part of the Meralco coaching staff. The 6-foot-1 Black played for Ateneo in college where he won two championships with the Blue Eagles. He could have won a third one had he played his final playing year with the school last season. Canete meanwhile is a 6-foot-4 forward out of Arellano who just concluded his stint with the Bacoor Strikers in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).