By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The TNT Tropang Giga is set to land superstar center Justin Chua from the NLEX Road Warriors via a three-team trade announced last January 17, 2023.
With only a few days left before the kick-off of the PBA Governor’s Cup this coming January 22, the former import-laced conference champions are looking to fortify their roster to increase their chances of returning to the finals.
TNT’s acquisition of Chua will be involving the Phoenix Super LPG and the Road Warriors and is already approved by the PBA office led by commissioner Willie Marcial.
Under the original trade proposal, the Road Warriors will be shipping Chua and Paul Varilla to TNT and will receive Sean Anthony and Jake Pascual from the Fuel Masters.
Meanwhile, the Fuel Masters will be getting the services of Raul Soyud and Jjay Alejandro from the Tropang Giga to complete the three-team trade.
If ever the trade will not be subject to revision, Chua is also set for a homecoming to the franchise that first drafted him in the big boys’ league.
Chua was picked by the Tropang Giga during the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft but was eventually shipped to the Fuel Masters.
The savvy big man spent a chunk of his career with the Fuel Masters and developed into a stretch big man after years of playing for coach Louie Alas and Topex Robinson.
From a pure post-up player at Ateneo, Chua became more versatile and also developed his defense especially his shot-blocking.
Chua will be looking to transform TNT into a deadlier defensive team when he teams up with another shot-blocking maestro in Poy Erram and a pesky backcourt general in Kib Montalbo.