Meralco will get the ball rolling.
The Bolts announced through their official social media accounts that they are heading for Ilocos Norte on Sunday to return to practice in preparation for PBA Season 46.
The MVP-owned franchise will be the first PBA ball club to get back into action after weeks of inactivity due to strict lockdown measures over the past weeks.
Meralco completed all the necessary swab testing for its players, coaches, and staff earlier this week, thus the early return to workouts.
The team initially looked to stay put in Manila and hold practices at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City. Ultimately, it decided to go up north.
In its announcement Saturday evening, the Bolts vowed to “lead the way and show how sports and safety can go hand in hand.”
Tomorrow, our team heads to Ilocos for closed circuit training. As the first @pbaconnect team to resume practices, our goal is to lead the way and show how sports and safety can go hand in hand.
Watch this space for exclusive updates on the road! ⚡ pic.twitter.com/j5bsUiICHm
— Meralco Bolts (@MeralcoBolts) May 15, 2021
Meralco is heading into the 46th season — possibly opening in June — confidently following its historic run in last year’s Philippine Cup bubble in Clark.
There, the Bolts reached the All-Filipino semis for the first time in franchise history. They were even just a win away from the Finals.
Going to Laoag are new pick-up Mac Belo, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Cliff Hodge, and Reynel Hugnatan.
Completing the Bolts cast are Anjo Caram, John Pinto, Aaron Black, Trevis Jackson, Chris Newsome, Bong Quinto, Michael Canete, Raymar Jose, Jammer Jamito, and Nonoy Baclao.
Then there’s also former University of the East super scorer Alvin Pasaol, the ninth overall pick in the 2021 Rookie Draft last March.
Pasaol and Bolts assistant coach Ronnie Magsanoc are currently busy with Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament on May 26-30 in Austria.
Head coach Norman Black had expressed in past interviews that he likes his Bolts’ chances for the new season with how his team has improved.