The NorthPort Batang Pier got a huge injection of talent after acquiring Jamie Malonzo and Troy Rike in the first round of the Season 46 draft.
Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio was pleased with the team's selections, which also included William Navarro in the Gilas draft, Mark Olayon, Marvin Moraga, Carl Ravanes, Seraj Elmejrab, Jonico Rosales, and Jed Mendoza.
"He's a good complement to the team. especially with Greg [Slaughter]," Jarencio said in Filipino, referring to the second overall pick out of La Salle.
"He can play the three and the four spots, and has quickness and athleticism. He is exactly what we need," he added.
Malonzo agrees with Jarencio's statement as well, as he looks to repay the trust that the franchise had given him.
"I believe I can bring a lot. I bring versatility on both ends of the floor. I think I have a nose for the ball and can make plays on the offensive end. I believe I shoot the ball well and I can't wait to prove that going forward," said Malonzo, who averaged 15.8 points, 9.9 rebounds. 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals in his lone season for La Salle.
NorthPort will also welcome the return of Robert Bolick and Sean Anthony, who were both unable to make an impact for the team inside the bubble in 2020 due to injuries.
Anthony, who was named Defensive Player of the Year two seasons ago, will relish the company of another versatile defender that can defend every position.
"I also love to play defense. I want to guard the best player but when you need me to I'm also able to switch 1-5 no problem," Malonzo told ESPN5.com.
It will also be a big challenge for the coaching staff to integrate their numerous picks immediately due to the current restrictions brought about by the pandemic.
Once the PBA secures approval from the IATF, they will only be given 10 days to prepare for the upcoming Philippine Cup. If the timeline remains to be followed, tip off of the 46th season will be held on Sunday, April 11.
"I can't see any outlook now because we still don't have five-on-five. We're just practicing in clusters now. That's the dilemma I see now. When do we go five-on-five?" Jarencio said.
"Veteran teams can do OK [in terms of chemistry] because they have been together for a long time. We don't have team chemistry yet, since we do not have jelling," added Jarencio.
According to an earlier pronouncement by Ginebra coach Tim Cone, teams would only be allotted 10 days to prepare.
"Can you [immediately jell] in a week? But as regards to our talent, we're very happy that we got them," explained the long-time coach.