Blackwater rookies Torralba, Paras impress Racela

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Nearly a week since the team began practicing in Batangas City, Blackwater coach Nash Racela likes what he sees from incoming rookie guard Josh Torralba and big man rookie Andre Paras.

Describing the former La Salle stalwart as a two-way player, Racela finally got a closer look at Torralba in Batangas.

"I think he's physically and mentally ready," Racela told ESPN5, in describing Torralba, listed at 6-foot-2. "He's exposed in different levels already so he could have stability right away as a rookie. I hope I'm right."

Aside from playing one UAAP season for the DLSU Green Archers in 2016, Torralba honed his skills after suiting up for the Makati Super Crunch in the MPBL.

The Bossing's second-round draft choice averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals while shooting 35 percent from three-point land in the MPBL.

Torralba though will have to go through the process considering Blackwater's loaded backcourt that included offseason trade acquisitions Baser and Amer and Simon Enciso, along with returnees Paul Desiderio, Ed Daquioag and Diego Dario.

As far as rookie big men Paras and Rey Mark Acuno are concerned, Racela is confident that they have a number of veteran front court players who can tutor the incoming rookies.

"We have a number of veteran bigs that could guide the two rookies, Kelly (Nabong), Frank (Golla), Marion (Magat), KG (Canaleta) and CBC (Carl Bryan Cruz)," explained Racela.

In fact, the Blackwater mentor sees Paras as potential clone of Cruz.

"Hopefully, he (Paras) could be another CBC who could defend, rebound and spread the floor," he noted. "Good thing is at his age, he has plenty of time to develop."

Before joining the PBA, Andre, son of legendary big man Benjie Paras, played the four spot in the PBA D-League and averaged 7.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per contest while playing for AMA Online Education in 2019. He also suited up for the Imus squad in the MPBL.