After being away from the PBA for some time, Philip Paniamogan and Bong Galanza have both returned to where they truly belong.
The two guards have been picked up by the NLEX Road Warriors prior to the 2018 Governors’ Cup, both from the MPBL – Paniamogan was with the Makati Skyscrapers, while Galanza suited up for Batangas City Athletics.
Paniamogan and Galanza stepped onto the PBA court again on Friday against the TNT Katropa in the season-ending conference’s opening salvo, and the former Kia Picanto stalwarts played as if they had never left the league.
Paniamogan produced 11 points, three assists, a steal and a block, while Galanza chipped in nine markers and three rebounds to have a significant imprint in the Road Warriors’ 103-90 victory over the Texters.
And they both made an impression on NLEX interim head coach Jojo Lastimosa, who even confessed that they had simply seen the two play in the regional league, and after that, the call-up had taken place.
“They were awesome.
“Philip and si Bong, nakita lang namin sila sa MPBL. Dalawang mga kalaban ko yun eh. So yung mga kalaban ko sa MPBL, mahina na ’cause tinanggal namin sila,” quipped Lastimosa, who handles Bataan Risers.
For Lastimosa, what really stood out for him was the two backcourters’ defensive contributions – they were able to limit the production of Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo, who shot just a combined 12-of-30 from the field.
“More than the shooting of Philip and Bong, I think what they brought to the game is actually the activity of being able to stay with the quicker guys on the perimeter and the ball handlers,” said one of the PBA’s all-time greats.
“They did really well.”