The top two picks in last March’s PBA Rookie draft will take centerstage when Terrafirma and NorthPort collide in the 2021 Philippine Cup.
Joshua Munzon and Jamie Malonzo will meet for the first time since being taken as the first and second overall picks respectively of the deepest class in years.
The match won’t happen until August 11, but many excited are excited to see how the future stars would fare against each other — and how much of an impact have they already brought to their respective teams by that time.
Munzon, 25, is expected to become a key contributor for the Dyip right away as he ushers in a new era for the franchise after letting go of CJ Perez.
The 2019 Rookie of the Year was traded to San Miguel last January, ending his two-year stay with the ball club that has yet to reach the playoffs since doing so in the Governors’ Cup almost half a decade ago.
Munzon had earlier said that he actually looked forward to teaming up with Perez and Roosevelt Adams to form a ‘fun lineup’ with the Dyip, but that will only remain as a big what-if with the former NCAA MVP already gone.
Still, he could form a solid 1-2 punch with the 6-foot-6 Adams, who was the team’s number one pick in the 2019 draft proceedings.
Munzon has known Adams pretty well, having fought many times before in the halfcourt game at Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 in the last two years.
Meanwhile, Malonzo is also seen to immediately become part of Coach Pido Jarencio’s rotation in the Batang Pier with his size and athleticism.
The 6-foot-6 forward, who established himself as a solid two-way winger during his one-year stint with La Salle, adds more length to a frontcourt that features Greg Slaughter, Sean Anthony, and Troy Rike.
The UAAP Season 82 Mythical Team member is also seen to be among those who can help fill in the gaping hole left by former BPC Christian Standhardinger, whom NorthPort traded to Ginebra for the 7-foot slaughter.
Malonzo is indeed yet another exciting piece to the ball club’s youth brigade, which has the returning Robert Bolick, Renzo Subido, and Troy Rike.