Malonzo target of TNT  in pre-draft trade moves


    TNT is ready to put behind the Bobby Ray Parks Jr. chapter and has taken the first step forward.

    The Tropang Giga traded for a first round pick in the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft this Sunday in a move that should and may be followed by another, according to coach Chot Reyes.

    “Palagi namang may nangyayari, so you can’t rule those things out,” Reyes told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday, referring to the team’s wheeling and dealing.

    TNT made the first move by acquiring sister team NLEX’s No. 4 pick overall in the draft, a deal that also involved Blackwater.

    The Road Warriors first traded their No. 4 pick overall to Blackwater in exchange for guards Roi Sumang, forward Don Trollano, sophomore center Maurice Shaw and the Bossing’s 2022 second round draft pick.

    Blackwater then dealt the pick to TNT for guard Simon Enciso, power forward David Semerad and the Tropang Giga’s 2023 first round and 2024 second round draft picks.

    Both deals have been approved by the PBA trade committee.

    “Itong deal na ito even before I got here pinag-uusapan na nila iyan,” said Reyes, who was tapped to return and coach TNT, only to see Parks deciding to skip this season.

    “So it’s really to improve the team, but it became more important because of the absence of Ray-Ray,” added Reyes.

    How to acquire a higher draft pick and get a really coveted player is the next task for TNT.

    Terrafirma gets first crack at the 86-player batch of draft applicants with the Dyip expected to tab Joshua Munzon as replacement for CJ Perez, recently traded to San Miguel Beer.

    NorthPort picks next and is expected to take Jamie Malonzo, a La Salle alum like franchise owner Mikee Romero and one on the radar of Reyes.

    “I know that we are constantly working because we want to get that opportunity, really, to get Munzon or Malonzo,” admitted Reyes. “

    “Pag inisip mo role ni Parks, iyun talagang dalawang iyon, di ba? So hopefully, we get the chance to get the two of them… or either one.”

    More so for the 6-foot-6 Malonzo.

    “Kasi si Malonzo parang utility iyon, p’wedeng wing, p’wedeng big. Iyon ang kailangan namin, wing at saka big,” said the five-time Coach of the Year.  “So Malonzo talaga tinitingnan namin.”

    NLEX still has a No. 3 pick overall in Sunday’s proceedings to be done virtually. Rain or Shine picks at fifth, followed by Alaska, Phoenix, Terrafirma, Meralco, Magnolia, NorthPort and Ginebra.

    The Batang Pier open the second round with the Bossing owning the next two picks.