With Perez good as gone, Dyip shift focus to Munzon

    MUNZON: Now the likely top pick.

    THE impending departure of CJ Perez has prompted Terrafirma to shift its sights in the coming PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft.

    Dyip coach Johnedel Cardel told Malaya-Business Insight they are now seriously considering making Fil-Am Joshua Munzon as the top overall pick among the 97 applicants in the March 14 draft.

    “Siyempre kung sino katulad ng laro ni CJ,” said Cardel.

    “’Yung tulad ni Munzon, wingman, scorer,” added Cardel. “Nakikita ko naman moves niya. Athletic, shooter.”

    Cardel has previously stated they are bent on making Fil-Am Jamie Malonzo the top choice overall. But the absence of another pick until the third round prompted them to arrive at the “very difficult” decision to trade the two-time scoring champion.

    In a deal that was made public last Friday and expected to be approved by the PBA today, Perez would he shipped to San Miguel Beer for Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino, Russell Escoto and the Beermen’s No. 8 pick overall in the draft

    “Nag-usap kami ng mga coaches,” Cardel said. “Talented naman mga rookies na mag-papa-draft ngayon so we decided na ganoon nga mangyari, (trade) kay CJ,  para may pick at No. 8 kami.”

    The arrival of Escoto and Ganuelas-Rosser would give Terrafirma the much-needed additional size, but Cardel would still like to use the No. 8 pick on another big.

    Who to make the top pick overall remains the biggest question, even though it appears Terrafirma could not go wrong either way.

    The 6-foot-4 Munzon played for AMA Online Education in the PBA D-League where he posted eye-popping averages of 35.0 points along with 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the 2019 Aspirants’ Cup.

    Apart from also having seen action in the ABL, Munzon, 25, has also represented the Philippines in several FIBA 3×3 World Tours for professional clubs and is set to don the country’s colors anew in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria come May.

    Malonzo is also bringing with him impressive numbers.

    The 6-6 forward out of Portland State played one year with the Green Archers last Season 82 and averaged 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals.

    The 24-year-old also played for Mighty Sports in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament and with Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, scoring 23 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, and four assists in his lone game against ADG Dong-Mapua before the Aspirants’ Cup was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.