Raymar Jose feels immensely grateful after recently signing a one-year extension with Meralco, becoming the latest big man to receive a new contract in time for the PBA’s 46th season, targeted to commence in April.
His signing came days after the Bolts gave new deals to Reynel Hugnatan, Noy Baclao, and Jammer Jamito. The club is apparently looking to keep the same players that helped them reach new heights last season in the bubble.
The MVP Group-owned franchise made the Philippine Cup semifinals for the first time in team history. It was just a few seconds away from the Finals – only for Scottie Thompson and Ginebra to destroy their plans.
“Super happy ako na na-extend pa ako,” Jose told Tiebreaker Times.
“Kumbaga, sa dami naming expiring, pina-renew nila ulit ako. Binigyan pa ako ng chance na ma-extend ulit ng one year.”
The 2017 3rd overall pick by Blackwater came to Meralco in 2019, when the Elite traded him and Allein Maliksi for KG Canaleta, Mike Tolomia, and a pair of future draft picks – including a 2021 second round pick.
Since then, Jose has only played spot minutes in Coach Norman Black’s rotation, sitting behind Hugnatan, main slotman Raymond Almazan, Meralco lifer Cliff Hodge, and Bryan Faundo.
He only played nine games in the bubble and averaged 1.9 points and 2.2 rebounds. His best game came in their season debut versus Phoenix last Oct 12, where he had eight markers and 10 boards in their 116-98 win.
The former UAAP gold medalist with Far Eastern University has no issue with this, though. In fact, for him, playing with the aforementioned players is an opportunity he’s thankful for.
“Malaking bagay sa development ‘yung mga beterano, tulad niyan, sina kuya Reynel. Nung bubble, marami akong natutunan sa kanya kasi naging roommate ko siya,” he shared.
“Tsaka inspiration ko sila kasi nasa learning process pa rin naman ako eh, natututo pa rin ako sa kanila.”
Now that he will be with the Bolts for another year, the former PBA D-League Most Valuable Player is keen on proving his team right of keeping him, eager to show his true abilities.
“Ako palagi, gigil naman talaga ako na makalaro. Kasi siyempre, kailangan ko rin ipakita na deserve ko rin na binibigyan nila ako ng sahod – maipakita ko at maibalik ko rin ‘yung binibigay nila sa’kin.”