Rizal-Xentro Mall looks to bounce back after a disappointing sophomore campaign during the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season.
To begin their rebuild, the Golden Coolers — who ended with a 7-22 slate last season — signed known Cebuano scorer Eloy Poligrates for the fourth season of the league.
“No one wants to end last on the rank of course, so after meeting with the owners, we all agreed that we have to build a more competitive squad,” said Rizal-Xentro Mall team manager Anj Azores.
“So signing Eloy is really a big step especially all teams are rebuilding. Getting him early is an advantage; at least we already secured a guy that we know will be of great help.”
Rizal-Xentro Mall knows what it is getting from the enigmatic 6-foot guard.
Coming off a turbulent time with Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol, where he played just six games, Poligrates decided to play in the PBA D-League for Marinerong Pilipino.
During the Foundation Cup, Poligrates went on to average 21.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He led the Skippers to a second place finish while winning the MVP plum.
Poligrates went on to sign with Val City, but played just four games there.
Besides Poligrates, Rizal also signed 2019 NAASCU Rookie of the Year Nikko Panganiban.
Panganiban, a 20-year-old guard out of Our Lady of Fatima University, averaged 18.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during the 2019 season of NAASCU.
Big man Mark Benitez, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during the Lakan Season, also signed a two-year extension with the Golden Coolers.
“We are talking to several collegiate and NBL players as well that we can’t name pa because they are still awaiting approval from their mother teams,” Azores said.
Rizal-Xentro Mall will have a new head coach, though. JV Gayoso will not return for the fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go-backed league.
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