PBA: Winning top rookie award is 'just the start' for Aaron Black

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2021 05:00 PM

PBA: Winning top rookie award is 'just the start' for Aaron Black 1

MANILA, Philippines -- Meralco's Aaron Black is determined to make a leap in his sophomore season after emerging as the league's Outstanding Rookie last year.

Black's freshman season in the PBA did not go according to plan as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to stop operations for seven months. The All-Filipino Cup got going in October, with Black helping the Bolts reach the conference semifinals.

The rookie out of Ateneo averaged 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game for Meralco, coming away with the Outstanding Rookie award at the end of the season.

But already, Black is thinking of all that he needs to do to be even better come the next PBA season.

"The first step is to not relax," Black said during an appearance on "The Game." 

"I have to keep working. I can't rest on this award," he stressed. "I have to understand that this is just the start."

Black's best performance of the conference came against San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals. With the Bolts needing to win in order to extend their season, the rookie put up 14 points and 3 rebounds in a 23-minute stint, including a crucial triple in the final two minutes that put Meralco in control.

The Bolts won the game, 78-71, to force a do-or-die affair, and went on to beat the Beermen, 90-68, in that match to secure a spot in the semifinals.

Against Barangay Ginebra in the semifinals, Black was limited, averaging just over three points per game in the five-game series.

The former Ateneo guard is determined to have a bigger impact come next year.

"I'm trying to improve my game on both ends," he said. "I want to continue to learn the point guard position, I've only been playing it for the last two years. I want to continue to get better there."

He also wants to be a more efficient player and raise his shooting percentages, after making just under 39% of his field goals as a rookie.

The good news for Black is he can continue to work with his head coach at any time, as his father, Norman, calls the shots for Meralco. The two worked together regularly during the PBA's seven-month break to keep Aaron ready whenever the season started.

"We just tried to improve my game as much as possible," said Black. "As we went further, as we started going through a three, four-month span of not having basketball, we would add more things to our game."

"Thankfully, it was able to come out in the conference."

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