Kean Baclaan of National University is one of the most anticipated rookies heading to UAAP Season 85.
Back then, he was still playing for University of Santo Tomas. But on one Sunday night last August, he suddenly transferred to the Bulldogs camp.
On Sunday, he finally made his debut for NU in the UAAP, putting up modest numbers of eight points on 3-of-9 shooting to go with five assists and four steals against four turnovers.
And for Bulldogs head coach Jeff Napa, he attributed his prized recruit’s subpar performance to “gigil.”
“Hindi ko alam baka may gigil factor din ito sa sobrang gustong magpakita,” said the bench tactician after their 77-70 win over University of the East at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Marami kasing naririnig ‘yung pangalan niya so gigil factor. Buti na lang tapos na ‘yung first game, marerelax na ‘yung bata.”
Baclaan affirmed what his coach said, citing his want to show out his skills right away due to the hype of his name – which he carefully built with his scoring exploits with the Growling Tigers and even back then with De La Salle-Zobel.
“Syempre sa sobrang daming sinasabi ng mga tao, syempre sa akin gusto ko lang talaga magpakita kung ano ‘yung laro ko,” said Baclaan.
“Nasa adjustment pa talaga ako, parang wala pa akong two months sa NU kaya kailangan ko i-adjust syempre ‘yung depensa ko lalo.”
They might have registered an opening weekend victory against the Red Warriors but the combo guard is expecting NU to play better come Wednesday against Ateneo de Manila University.
Not just his team though, but his own production as well.
“Sa game medyo hindi po maganda ‘yung pinakita namin pero lesson learned sa amin ito para iimprove namin ‘yung team namin and individually sa amin.”