San Mig Coffee picked up three big men to shore up its frontline in last month’s PBA draft. But beyond adding ceiling, coach Tim Cone hopes the three men could also provide toughness to the team
The Mixers have signed first-round pick Aldrech Ramos and second-round choice Jewel Ponferrada. Their third-round draftee, 6-foot-9 Gian Chiu, could also get a deal.
“Aldrech is a big man who can step out and shoot while Jewel is a tough kid,” said Cone, adding that the team learned lessons from its setback against Rain or Shine in the Governors’ Cup finals. The Elasto Painters, who won in seven games, imposed its physical style on the the team then known as the B-MEG Llamados, who preferred a more finesse style of play.
On his interest in Chiu, Cone pointed to the old adage: you can’t teach height.
“I don’t know yet where Gian Chiu should come in, but he’s a project player and I think it would be worth it developing a 6-foot-9 project player,” said the coach.
The rookie trio would bolster an already impressive San Mig Coffee frontline that also includes Marc Pingris, Yancy De Ocampo, Rafi Reavis, Jerwin Gaco, and Mike Burtscher. The Mixers are also bracing for the return of versatile forward Joe Devance.
New addition, returning players
Another new addition to San Mig Coffee practice was Chris Pacana, who spent the past season with the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League.
“He will come in and play the wing position for us,” Cone said. “He will not play point guard because we already have too many point guards in our team.”
Val Acuna, whom the team traded away on draft day to GlobalPort, is also back with San Mig Coffee. He currently serves as a practice player for the squad.
“We cannot sign him [as a regular player],” said Cone, who explained that PBA rules prohibit players from returning to the team that traded him during the season.
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