Expectations are high among PBA fans, but this year's top rookie pick Joshua Munzon chooses to focus on getting better as he prepares himself for his freshman year with Terrafirma, the team's first in the post-CJ Perez era.
The 6-foot-4 Munzon has long been in the spotlight leading to the Rookie Draft for 2021, especially after young Terrafirma star CJ Perez was shipped to San Miguel Beer in exchange for center Russel Escoto, guard Gelo Alolino, forward Matt Ganuelas-Rosser along with the Beermen's 2021 and 2022 first-round picks.
Aside from Munzon, the Dyip was able to snag 6-foot-10 big man James Laput in the eighth pick (from the SMB trade) to shore up the franchise's talent stock.
"It (fan expectations) doesn't really affect me. No one's expectations of me are higher than my own," Munzon told ESPN5 matter-of-factly, shortly after joining the team's workout with the Dyip Monday morning.
Munzon vows to learn as much as he can moving forward, while voicing his excitement in the new chapter of his basketball career.
"Just continuing to be myself, learn and grow from everything that will happen throughout the year," stressed the 26-year-old guard/forward.
Terrafirma's core now has a nice mix of young Turks and veterans in roster that includes Escoto, incoming sophomore Roosevelt Adams, Munzon, spitfire guard Rashawn McCarthy, Andreas Cahilig Aldrech Ramos and newly-acquired Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
While Munzon recognizes the team's talent, he stressed the importance of building strong team chemistry moving forward.
"(We're) just going to work on building chemistry with my teammates. I think that's the most important thing, learning how guys play, what spots they like the ball in, things like that will help making this transition easier," explained Munzon.
Munzon, a former California State U standout, said he looks forward to bonding with his new PBA teammates, hoping he could bring the energy and positive on and off the court.
"It's the first step in building bonds with my teammates," Munzon said. "I'm just excited to be a part of the team and hope to be a positive influence on and off the court."
Munzon first broke into the Filipino fans' consciousness after playing as a Heritage Import for the Saigon Heat and later Westports Malaysia Dragons from 2016 to 2018 in the Asean Basketball League.
His stock rose further after joining the 3x3 league in 2019 and eventually representing the country in the 2020 FIBA 3x3 World Tour.