Rey Mark Acuno landed with TNT, after all.
The Tropang Giga acquired the services of the unheralded big man via free agency, as posted in the Transactions page of the PBA website.
He was initially part of the trade between the flagship MVP franchise and ex-team Blackwater late last year that was centered around Carl Cruz.
That deal would’ve seen the Bossing ship him and the former Gilas stalwart in exchange for big man Chris Javier and a future first-round pick.
But several revisions changed the trade.
The Tropa sent veteran big man Jay Washington instead, together with their 2022 and 2025 second-round picks for Cruz alone.
Acuno was the 14th overall pick by Blackwater in the 2021 Rookie Draft, a class where he’s among the tallest as he stands at 6-foot-7.
Then-Bossing head coach Nash Racela said that he’s been familiar with the 27-year-old, as he tried to recruit him to play for Far Eastern University.
Acuno was playing for Southwestern University then but ultimately decided to suit up for University of the East in the UAAP instead.
The cager from Lanao Del Norte went on to showcase his wares in the PBA D-League with Gamboa Coffee, and in the MPBL with Manila.
Unfortunately, he was hardly utilized by Blackwater. Acuno played for only a total of three games in the 2021 Philippine Cup.
He was eventually relegated by the team to its unrestricted free agency list with rights to salary (UFAWR2S).
Now, Acuno gets to have an opportunity with TNT as he joins a frontcourt that is still missing the services of Troy Rosario and Cruz due to injuries.