Reliable stretch big man Justin Chua found himself back with TNT following a three-team, six-player trade also involving NLEX and Phoenix.
The complex deal that brought the former Defensive Player of the Year back to the team he first played for in 2017 was given the green light by the PBA trade committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Under the agreement, NLEX sent Chua along with Paul Varilla and a second-round pick in the 48th Season PBA draft to Phoenix for Jake Pascual and veteran forward Sean Anthony.
Chua and Varilla were then shipped by the Fuel Masters to the Tropang Giga in exchange for JJ Alejandro, Raoul Soyud and their second-round pick in the 52nd Season PBA Draft.
With the move, TNT got a reliable center in Chua who could man the paint along with JP Erram and veteran big man Kelly Williams under the system of new head coach Jojo Lastimosa. It also got another hard-nosed defender at the wing position with the acquisition of Varilla.
NLEX, on the other hand, also got reunited with Anthony who played for the Road Warriors for two seasons from 2015 to 2017 while it also got a backup forward in Pascual to join Mike Miranda and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser in the frontline rotation.
Alejandro, meanwhile, is joining his former college coach Jamike Jarin who took over the Fuel Masters following the departure of former coach Topex Robinson. Phoenix also got its hands on a serviceable big man in Soyud who is expected to provide some ceiling at the center position.
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