By Olmin Leyba
BLACKWATER signed Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 47 top rookie pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser to a three-year max deal on Thursday, hopeful of a major turnaround coming off a record 29-game skid last year.
Mr. Rosser, a 6-foot-7 big man who can operate both inside and outside, is tipped to play a key role as the Bossing try to work their way up after a long winless spell over the last two seasons.
“Definitely, with Mr. Rosser and the role players and the chemistry na nabi-build so far (we expect to do better),” said Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia, whose team actually goes into the new season riding on a 101-100 win over Magnolia that ended their long-standing losing streak in the Governors’ Cup elims windup.
Mr. Rosser is fresh from a bronze medal feat in the Southeast Asian Games as part of Gilas Pilipinas men’s 3×3 team.
The Bossing have also inked deals with freshmen Mark Dyke and Ato Ular for two years each and trade acquisition Yousef Taha for one to beef up the core of JVee Casio, Baser Amer, Mike Ayonayon, Barkley Ebona Rey Suerte and Rashwan McCarthy.
Terrafirma, meanwhile, signed newbie Javi Gomez de Liaño to a two-year contract. The Dyip acquired the former University of the Philippines standout in a trade with Barangay Ginebra for No. 2 overall Jeremiah Gray.
Phoenix Super LPG formally hired rookie selections Tyler Tio (two years), Encho Serrano (one year), and Chris Lalata (one year), while Rain or Shine continued its youth movement via Gian Mamuyac, Shaun Ildefonso and Jhonard Clarito, who all came in board for two years.
Meanwhile, Meralco welcomed big man Kyle Pascual, who exercised his right to be an unrestricted free agent to bolt the Dyip camp and join the Bolts via a two-year pact.
Action in Asia’s first play-for-pay league gets going again on June 5 with the centerpiece Philippine Cup.