It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts were bitten by the injury bug prior to the start of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. And one of the affected was veteran forward KG Cañaleta.
Cañaleta hurt his left hamstring during one of the team’s practices heading into the conference due to wear-and-tear, which caused him to miss the Bolts’ first two assignments.
“Kasi nung start, kulang-kulang kami. So sa practice, parang sampu lang kami sa practice kaya bugbog talaga,” he said.
“Kaya ayun, medyo papalapit na ‘tong conference, dun ako [nasaktan].”
Cañaleta then returned in Meralco’s third game versus the Alaska Aces, which they won convincingly. And since then, the coaches have managed his minutes.
“Nung ibinalik ako, dahan-dahan,” he said.
“Inuunti-unti ako ni coach, ‘di rin niya ako fino-force.”
That was also the case Friday when the Orangemen took on the Blackwater Elite at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. And given Cañaleta’s performance, it seems he’s regained his old form.
The 37-year-old fired 13 points in the second quarter alone, helping the Bolts turn a slim deficit to their advantage which gave them enough momentum to bag the 106-97 win.
“He gave us a big lift in the first half,” lauded coach Norman Black of Cañaleta. “He didn’t play as much in the second half, but he gave us a big lift in the first.
“He really came up big for us.”
The 6-foot-6 wingman is glad to have contributed in the win that hiked Meralco’s card to 4-2. And now, Cañaleta hopes he could still get better as the conference goes along.
“At least ngayon nakakatulong na ako sa team,” said the 14-year league veteran from Tarlac City.
“Itong game na ‘to, sana ma-develop ko ‘yung confidence, at maibalik ko ‘yung timing.”