Malonzo candidate for top pick

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    FROM a short-lived UAAP career to being the top pick in the PBA D-League?

    Fil-Am Jamie Malonzo, who suited up for one season for La Salle last year, looms as likely the No. 1 pick overall in the draft proceedings set this Monday, Jan. 20, at the league office in Libis.

    The 6-foot-6, tattoo-sporting Malonzo, along with 136 other hopefuls who are bidding to play in the season-opening Aspirant’s Cup set to begin on Feb. 13, have applied for the draft.

    Other top amateurs in the list are former University of the Philippines defensive specialist Jaydee Tungab, who can also as No. 1 pick overall, former Green Archers shooter and Batang Gilas player Jollo Go, former UAAP Juniors’ MVP and Adamson playmaker Jerie Pingoy, Cebuano cagers Darell Menina and Jaybie Mantilla, and former Centro Escolar University gunner Judel Fuentes.

    The 6-foot-3 Tungcab is a member of the 24-man Gilas Pilipinas training pool for the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

    AMA Online Education owns the No. 1 pick for the fourth straight year.

    The Titans tabbed Fil-Am wingman Joshua Munzon last year, Fil-Canadian Owen Graham two years ago, and now pro league star Jeron Teng of Alaska in 2017.

    AMA Online Education coach Mark Herrera did not answer calls from Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    There are 17 Fil-foreigners bannered by the high-flying Malonzo, former La Salle sniper Joshua Torralba, and the trio of the Fighting Maroons’ James Spencer, David Murrell, and JJ Espanola in the draft pool.

    The Aspirant’s Cup features 12 teams bannered by Marinerong Pilipino, school-based squads CEU, Ironcon-University of Santo Tomas, UP, Far Eastern University, Eco Oil-La Salle, Mapua University, Diliman College, La Salle-Dasmarinas, and the Titans.

    Completing the field are club teams Paranaque City and Debantan Sports. – Michael Jugado