Philippine basketball

Ginebra snags Malonzo from NorthPort, gives up Tolentino, other key cogs

JR Isaga
Ginebra snags Malonzo from NorthPort, gives up Tolentino, other key cogs

BIG MOVE. Jamie Malonzo takes his talents to a champion squad.

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The PBA approves yet another controversial deal that sends NorthPort rising star Jamie Malonzo to Ginebra for Arvin Tolentino, Jeff Chan, and other key title-winning cogs

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra is once again set for a roster reshuffle after acquiring high-flying forward Jamie Malonzo from NorthPort and Von Pessumal from San Miguel on Tuesday, September 20, after an official confirmation by the PBA.

The Gin Kings, however, are giving up a lot of title-winning cogs in the process to complete the three-team transaction, namely sweet-shooting forwards Arvin Tolentino and Jeff Chan, big man Prince Caperal, and former Arellano standout Kent Salado.

This blockbuster transaction comes one day after the league approved another three-team deal among TNT, NLEX, and Blackwater centered around Calvin Oftana, also one of the PBA’s rising stars.

As such, the announcement was not safe from the public’s ire, with many comments alluding to the age-old “harvest” allegations stemming from what fans view as lopsided trades in favor of teams from richer corporations.

As the league continues to endure backlash, fan-favorite Ginebra soldiers on with its newest star recruit in Malonzo, who is coming off a breakout 2022 Philippine Cup conference for NorthPort with stellar averages of 17.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks.

Pessumal – while seldom used in his time for San Miguel – provides much-needed shooting lost in the departures of Tolentino and Chan. The Beermen will get two future second-round picks for him in the deal.

On the other hand, the duo will also have plenty of opportunities with the Batang Pier, as Tolentino aims to build off a decent All-Filipino campaign where he averaged 11.9 points on 35% shooting from three, while the veteran Chan normed 4.9 points in just 13.9 minutes per game.

Caperal – the 2020 Most Improved Player – will also likely get a decent spot in head coach Pido Jarencio’s rotation given NorthPort’s lack of size down low.

All teams will soon get to parade their new imports and local recruits as the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup tips off on Wednesday, September 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena. –

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