Terrafirma improves depth, defense in Perez trade to San Miguel–coach
MANILA, Philippines — Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel believes the Dyip got what they wanted in the controversial trade that sent CJ Perez to San Miguel Beer.
The deal took flak after Terrafirma let go of its franchise guard in exchange for three role players and two first-round picks (2020 and 2022).
But Cardel defended the move, saying the Dyip added more depth and length with the acquisition of Russel Escoto, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Gelo Alolino.
“We got deeper. The reason why they’re in the PBA because they’re good enough to be in the league,” Cardel told INQUIRER.net in Filipino on Tuesday after the deal was finally approved by the PBA.
“We now have the length that will help us big time defensively to compete against the strong teams,” he added.
The 6-foot-6 Escoto and Alolino played sparingly for the Beermen in last season’s bubble while the lanky 6-foot-4 Ganuelas-Rosser did not see action at all due to family matters.
Cardel thinks his new additions will flourish at Terrafirma by giving them enough exposure on the court just like what happened with one of his mainstays in former San Miguel player Rashawn McCarthy, who has been solid since his move to the Columbian franchise in 2017 as part of another disputed trade centered around the rights to the top overall pick.
“They will blossom given a chance to play. I just need to give them playing time and confidence. It’s the same thing that’s happened to McCarthy,” Cardel said. “The attitude is already there.”
Terrafirma, who owns the rights to the first overall pick for the third year in a row, will also select eighth overall in a talent-laded draft next month that has Cardel licking his chops.
“Of course it’s hard to give up CJ but the upcoming draft could turn out to be the deepest draft in the history of the league,” he said.
The Dyip have their sights on Fil-Americans Jamie Malonzo and Joshua Munzon as the potential No. 1 selection.
Cardel raved about Malonzo’s athleticism and length at 6-foot-7 while he likened Munzon’s game to Perez’s and Terrence Romeo’s.
Malonzo turned heads in his one-and-done season with La Salle in the UAAP where the forward averaged 15.8 points, close to 10 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 2019.
Munzon, an explosive 6-foot-4 guard, meanwhile, made a good account of himself after his stints in the Asean Basketball League, PBA D-League and in the 3×3 scene where he emerged as the country’s top-ranked player.
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